Things to know about kimono underwear when renting a kimono in Kyoto

When renting a kimono for sightseeing or walking around Kyoto, many people may be wondering, “What kind of underwear should I wear?”
Kimono underwear is slightly different from Western underwear. However, there is nothing difficult about it.
Just by knowing a few things, you can look much more beautiful in a kimono, so please use this as a reference.

Why are kimono underwear different from Western underwear?

First of all, why are the underwear different for kimono and Western clothes? The reason for this is the aesthetic sense and consideration that is unique to Japan.

There are two main purposes for wearing kimono underwear:

  • To make the kimono look beautiful
  • To make the kimono last longer

To make the kimono look beautiful

When wearing a kimono, there is no need to emphasize your hips or bust; it is considered beautiful to wear it simply, with gentle curves.

Kimono underwear that has the right amount of support can bring out a person’s natural beauty.
In addition, the underwear has a unique design that matches the shape of the kimono, so it won’t wrinkle easily when you move, giving you an elegant silhouette.

To make the kimono last longer

Kimono underwear made of cotton etc. easily absorbs sweat and sebum stains and prevents excessive chafing.
This helps minimize wear and tear and keeps your kimono in good condition for a long time.

Because kimonos are delicate, they cannot be washed in a washing machine every day.
Additionally, kimonos are difficult to mass-produce like clothes, and many have unique patterns and designs that are unique in the world.

Wearing proper underwear can extend the lifespan of your kimono.
In order for a beautiful kimono to be passed down from person to person for decades, it is important to wear underwear for the kimono.

[Kimono basics] What kind of kimono underwear should you wear? Introduced in list

Basic kimono underwear includes the following in order of wear:

  • Japanese bra
  • Hem protection
  • Hada undergarment
  • Nagajuban (or Hanjuban)

At kimono rental shops, you will often have your kimono fitted from the hem-covering stage. If you know the characteristics and meanings of each type of underwear in advance, you will be able to make many discoveries and surprises from the stage of wearing them.

Kimono underwear 1: Japanese bra

Japanese bras are designed to moderate the movement of the bust while giving a smooth look from the neck to the waist.
(Bras are not required, but many people use them to look beautiful and feel safe.)

There are various types of Japanese-style bras, including types that fasten with zippers or hooks, and types that can be worn directly over the body.
For those who want to keep their bust firmly in check, the type that fastens with a zipper or hook is safe.
Also, since you may sweat a lot, we recommend choosing a material that is highly absorbent.

You can also use a sports bra or night bra with thin padding as a bra to wear under the kimono.

Kimono underwear 2: Hem protection

A hem-yoke is a type of underwear that is also called a “kedashi” (kedashi), and is similar to a skirt that covers the lower half of the body. The waist part is made of cotton, and the other parts are made of synthetic fiber material (cupro, etc.).

The purpose of the hem guard is to absorb sweat from around the hips and legs, while also making it easier to move your feet when walking.

There are mainly three types of hem guards:

  • Loin wrap type (general)
  • Pants type
  • Rubber skirt type

The most standard one is the loincloth type. It is a piece of cloth that is tied around the waist.

The pants type is also called “steteco”. It is often worn by people who move vigorously in Japanese dance or who sweat easily in the summer.

The skirt type is characterized by being easy to wear. Since it is a simplified version of a hem guard, it is not often worn in formal attire situations.

Kimono underwear 3: Hada undergarment

Hadajuban is a bra or underwear worn over the bare skin. It opens in the front like a kimono, and is wrapped around the upper body with the right front facing like a kimono.
Depending on the opening of the back of the kimono, it is important to wear the undergarment with the back collar pulled back.

Some undergarments have snap buttons on the front, but basically you can just secure them with a string along with the next undergarment you will use.

Hadajuban is completely invisible from the outside when you are wearing a kimono. However, it plays an important role not only in absorbing sweat, but also in preventing the skin from showing through the kimono and preventing the kimono from coming undone.

In addition, for convenience, there is also a slip (one-piece) type that includes a hem guard and undergarment. The top and bottom of the slip type are connected, so you need to be careful when choosing the size.

Kimono underwear 4: Nagajun undergarment (or half-undergarment)

Nagajuban is often misunderstood by first-time kimono wearers as being the same as Hadajuban, but they have completely different uses and functions.

Nagajun undergarment is something that is layered on top of a hem guard and Hadajun undergarment (or slip-type undergarment). Tighten the waist part with Datejime (string) to secure it.

The collar of the Nagajun undergarment is an important part that is visible when wearing the kimono.
It also serves as the foundation for your outfit, so add a collar core (a core that allows the collar to match neatly) or a half collar (a collar that allows you to enjoy patterns and colors to match the season or location) to make it look neat.

There is also a simple and casual version of Nagajun undergarment called “Hanjun undergarment” which only covers the upper body.

Notes on underwear when renting a kimono in Kyoto

When enjoying a rental kimono in Kyoto, you can enjoy a more beautiful look if you also consider the underwear you wear from home.

Would it be see-through if you wear brightly colored underwear?

At kimono rental shops, you will often be able to put on the kimono directly over the underwear you have already worn.
When wearing underwear from home, we recommend underwear that is a color similar to your skin and that won’t show through your panties.

If you wear shorts in dark colors such as black or red, your underwear will easily show through through kimono in lighter tones such as white or light blue. Also, shorts with three-dimensional strings or elastic may affect the silhouette line of the kimono.

There’s no need to be overly nervous or go out of your way to buy new underwear, but it’s a good idea to be a little careful so that you can wear your favorite kimono with peace of mind and comfort.

Maybe a “prime bra” doesn’t go well with a kimono?

Bras that are designed to make your bust look fuller are not suitable for kimono fashion.
The larger the difference between your bust and waist, the easier it will be for your bust to rest on top of your obi. Furthermore, bras with tight wires or padding may make it difficult to wear a kimono around your chest.

The underwear used with the kimono does not have to be a Japanese-style bra. Look for what you have on hand, such as sports bras with thin padding, night bras, and wireless bras.

Also, if you have any concerns about your body shape when trying on a kimono, one option is to consult a professional kimono dresser. You can create a beautiful silhouette by correcting your waist and chest using a washcloth or towel.

Check your belongings at the rental kimono store

The extent to which you should provide your own underwear varies greatly depending on the kimono rental shop.
Some shops allow you to rent everything including underwear, while others allow you to rent kimonos but require you to purchase your own underwear.

The best bet is to check the web page of the rental kimono store and contact them directly with any questions or concerns.
Underwear is an important part of wearing a beautiful kimono, so don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Click here for inquiries

You can do it empty-handed! For kimono rental in Kyoto, go to “Waplus Kyoto”

I have introduced the situation regarding kimono underwear.
The main items worn under the kimono are “Japanese-style (or similar) bra,” “hem guard,” “hada undergarment,” and “nagajun undergarment.” In addition, small items such as tabi socks, date tightening, and waist straps are also necessary.

However, when it comes to getting a complete set of these tools, it takes money to buy them and time to find them.
Therefore, for those who enjoy renting kimonos in Kyoto, we recommend renting them all at once at Waplus Kyoto.

“Waplus Kyoto”‘s kimono plan is a rental service and price that includes all items such as undergarments, socks, sandals, and bags. The store is close to tourist spots around Gion and has excellent access!
We look forward to your reservations and inquiries.

Click here for kimono rental plans and prices


Author of this article


Waplus Yasaka Shrine store staff

Ayana Ogawa

We would like to help many customers smile through kimono rental.
I love spending time listening to customer requests and proposing kimono coordination and deciding on hair styles!
I am particularly good at hair styling, so please leave it to me to create the currently popular feminine hair.
I'll make it look cute!
My hobbies are music, movies, and shopping!
Please come and visit Waplus Kyoto!
We will suggest cute coordination!