In summer, you can see people in Yukata, casual style of Kimono, at festivals. You can see them the most in firework festivals. They are also seen in Saturday Night Festivals held by old shopping malls mainly every Saturday in July. On a Saturday evening, Chen-san, Torii-kuguru's living-in staff member, and I wore Yukata together and took a walk around Saturday Night Fesutival and historical area in Kurashiki.
It is good to wear Yukata in the evening because you don't become sweaty and don't have to loosen Yukata. Actually, you cannot loosen it because its beauty is in tighten up shape. Since you use so many strings and belts to keep Yukata's shape, you cannot even move as usual.
After went out in our Yukata for about 4 hours, we came back to Torii-kuguru. When we saw its Torii gate, Chen san said "O.K., we came back alive. I learned how Japanese women had hard life in Kimono!", and we laughed a lot. Yes, wearing Kimono is so tiring, but many people looked at us and sometimes said "Look at the Yukata!", "It's so beautiful! ", and took a picture of us. To look beautiful, you have to endure a little, maybe a lot. We learned the essence of Japanese beauty.
I actually did not like to wear Kimonos mainly because of its difficulties in wearing and caring them. But, I suddenly decided to wear it this season. Some of reasons are that I became to realize the beauty of traditional Japanese clothes and that it might be the last timing to learn how to wear them. My mom, who can teach me it, is already in her 70's.
When I was in my 20's, my mom asked my aunt to make Yukata for me because I was too big to buy ready-made size of Yukata. So, I got my handmade Yukata, but I could not find suitable Geta, Japanese wooden sandal. Traditional things were all small for me at that time. That was why I gave up easily and never tried my Yukata.
20 years later, things changed and people can see and learn how to wear and care Yukata on the Web. You can also get big size of Yukata and other stuff because Yukata became popular again among young adults and foreign tourists.
You cannot use clothes iron and washing machine to care Yukata. You spray water on it and dry it in the air. And then you fold it in square shape and press it under heavy stuff. Now I enjoy doing it. It is very thankful that I have the luxury to care Yukata in such old way. Also, I am so glad that I finally understood what my mom and my aunt tried to carry on.
Oh, I almost forgot it. Torii-kuguru also has small festival on 10:00 - 18:00 July 26(sat) and 27(sun). There are food, alcohols, music shows, workshops and talk shows.
You can also enjoy Saturday Night Festival along its shopping mall, Hokancho on 19th and 26th!
Enjoy your summer, hopefully in Yukata!