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Can I wear a short dress in Japan?


Japan is a beautiful country with a rich culture and tradition. For many travelers, it’s important to respect the local customs and dress appropriately. One of the common questions that arise is whether it’s okay to wear a short dress in Japan. In this article, we’ll explore this topic in-depth and provide you with all the information you need to know.

Understanding Japanese Culture

Before we dive into the dress code, it’s important to understand a bit about Japanese culture. The Japanese place a high value on politeness, respect, and modesty. This can be seen in their behavior, language, and even clothing. It’s important to keep this in mind when choosing what to wear.

Japanese Snack Box

Dress Code in Japan

The dress code in Japan is generally conservative. This means that clothing should cover most of your body, especially when visiting temples or other religious sites. Shorts, revealing tops, and short skirts are generally not acceptable. However, it’s important to note that the dress code may vary depending on where you are in Japan.

What is Considered a Short Dress?

The definition of a short dress can vary from person to person. However, in general, a short dress is considered to be one that falls above the knee or mid-thigh. It’s important to keep this in mind when choosing what to wear.

Where Can I Wear a Short Dress?

While wearing a short dress may not be acceptable in all situations, there are still plenty of places where you can wear one. For example, if you’re going out for dinner or drinks with friends, a short dress may be appropriate. Just make sure to check the dress code before going.

What Should I Avoid Wearing?

When visiting Japan, it’s important to avoid wearing anything too revealing or provocative. This includes things like low-cut tops, short shorts, and mini-skirts. It’s also important to avoid clothing with offensive slogans or graphics.

Consider the Weather

Another thing to keep in mind when choosing what to wear is the weather. Japan can get very hot and humid during the summer months, so wearing something cool and comfortable is important. A light sundress that falls just above the knee may be acceptable in this case.

How Should I Dress for Business Meetings?

If you’re visiting Japan for business purposes, it’s important to dress professionally. This means wearing a suit or dress pants and a blouse for women. Avoid anything too flashy or revealing.

What About Traditional Clothing?

Traditional Japanese clothing such as kimono or yukata are beautiful and can be worn by travelers. However, it’s important to wear them correctly and respectfully. If you’re not sure how to wear traditional clothing, it’s best to seek advice from a local.

What If I Make a Mistake?

If you accidentally wear something that is not appropriate for the situation or culture, don’t worry too much about it. Japanese people are generally polite and understanding towards foreigners who may not know all the customs and rules.

The Bottom Line

In conclusion, while wearing a short dress may not be acceptable in all situations in Japan, there are still plenty of places where you can wear one. It’s important to understand the local culture and customs when choosing what to wear and to always err on the side of modesty.

Final Thoughts

Japan is an amazing country with so much to offer travelers. By dressing appropriately and respecting local customs, you’ll be able to fully immerse yourself in Japanese culture and have an unforgettable experience.

Is it okay to wear short clothes in Japan?

Yes, you can wear shorts in Tokyo in the summertime. Most summer attire is permitted on the city streets. Just keep in mind that among businesspeople dressed professionally, you might stand out.

Can you wear dresses in Japan?

Clothing tips for Women Casual: Women typically wear casual dresses, skirts, t-shirts, blouses, and pants or shorts on a day out of the office. Business: A formal, conservative trouser or knee-length skirt-suit worn with tights in dark colors works well, but avoid an all black look as this is associated with funerals.

How strict are Japanese dress codes?

In Japan, it is not appropriate to wear revealing clothing or flashy accessories in the workplace, and high heels are also discouraged. Dressing too masculinely, such as wearing pants, is also not allowed. The overall theme of Japanese dress code is conservatism.

Is it safe to wear a skirt in Japan?

The traditional Japanese business dress code emphasizes blending in, with dark clothing and a neutral shirt and tie for men. Women are expected to wear skirts that are not too short or tight, and low heels are preferred over high ones.

Are skirts allowed in Japan?

For women, it is recommended to wear dresses or skirts that cover their shoulders and reach their knees even when seated. Avoid wearing shiny, embroidered, or two-toned fabrics, as well as frills and flounces.

Are leggings OK to wear in Japan?

In Japan, it is not acceptable for women to wear athletic pants or leggings outside of the gym as it is seen as lazy. Additionally, women are expected to dress formally and conservatively at work, often wearing similar colors as men.

Additional Tips for Dressing in Japan

Here are some additional tips to keep in mind when dressing in Japan:


In Japan, it’s common to take off your shoes before entering someone’s home, temples, or certain businesses. It’s best to wear shoes that are easy to take off and put on, such as sandals, slip-on shoes, or loafers.


Black is a popular color for clothing in Japan, and it’s considered to be a formal and respectful color. However, it’s also important to note that bright colors and patterns are acceptable for casual wear.


In Japan, less is often more when it comes to accessories. It’s best to keep them simple and understated. Avoid wearing large or flashy jewelry or anything that makes noise when you move.

Socks and Tights

If you’re wearing a skirt or dress, it’s important to wear socks or tights to cover your legs. This is especially important in more formal settings or when visiting religious sites.


In Japan, hairstyles should be neat and tidy. Avoid wearing anything too wild or unkempt. If you have long hair, it’s best to tie it back in a ponytail or bun.


Dressing appropriately in Japan is an important part of respecting the local culture and customs. By following these tips and being mindful of your clothing choices, you’ll be able to fully enjoy everything that this amazing country has to offer.

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