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Can you wear shorts in Japan?

Can You Wear Shorts in Japan?


Japan is a country with a rich culture and unique customs, which can be quite different from those in Western countries. As such, it’s understandable to wonder what is and isn’t acceptable when it comes to dress code. One question that many people have is whether or not it is appropriate to wear shorts in Japan.

The Japanese Climate

Before delving into the specifics of dress code, it’s important to understand the climate in Japan. The country experiences four distinct seasons, with hot and humid summers and cold winters. The summer months can be particularly challenging for those unaccustomed to the heat and humidity, which can make wearing long pants uncomfortable.

Japanese Snack Box

Cultural Considerations

In Japan, there are certain cultural considerations that should be taken into account when deciding what to wear. While shorts are becoming more common among younger Japanese people, they are still not widely accepted in more traditional settings. For example, if you’re planning on visiting a temple or other religious site, it’s best to err on the side of caution and wear clothing that covers your knees.

The Business World

If you’re traveling to Japan for business purposes, it’s important to keep in mind that the dress code is generally more formal than in Western countries. While shorts might be acceptable for casual outings or sightseeing, they are not appropriate for business meetings or professional events.

Tourist Areas

In areas of Japan that are popular with tourists, such as Tokyo and Osaka, shorts are generally more accepted than in other parts of the country. However, even in these areas, it’s important to pay attention to your surroundings and dress appropriately for the occasion.

Gender Considerations

While both men and women can wear shorts in Japan, there are some gender-specific considerations to keep in mind. Women should avoid wearing shorts that are too short or revealing, particularly when visiting religious sites or other conservative settings.


In addition to clothing, footwear is also an important consideration in Japan. It’s customary to remove your shoes before entering homes, temples, and some restaurants. As such, it’s a good idea to wear shoes that are easy to slip on and off, such as sandals or loafers.

Alternative Clothing Options

If you’re concerned about whether or not wearing shorts is appropriate in Japan, there are plenty of alternative clothing options available. Lightweight pants, skirts, and dresses can all be comfortable and appropriate for the Japanese climate.

Personal Style

Ultimately, what you wear in Japan will depend largely on your personal style and comfort level. If you’re someone who enjoys wearing shorts on a regular basis, there’s no reason why you can’t wear them in Japan as well. However, it’s always a good idea to be respectful of local customs and culture.


In conclusion, while there are some cultural considerations to keep in mind, it is generally acceptable to wear shorts in Japan. However, it’s important to pay attention to your surroundings and dress appropriately for the occasion. By doing so, you can ensure that you have a comfortable and enjoyable trip to Japan.



Is it acceptable to wear shorts in Japan?

Wearing shorts is not prohibited by law or social norms in Japan, and it is quite common to see tourists wearing shorts, particularly during the hot summer months, due to the intense heat in some areas of Asia.

How strict is Japanese dress code?

In line with the culture’s emphasis on blending in, Japanese business clothing strictly adheres to dark colors, with a neutral shirt and tie for men. Women are expected to wear skirts that are not too short or tight, with pumps being an acceptable choice, as long as the heel is low.

What do you wear in Japan in the summer?

For July in Japan, it is recommended to wear thin outerwear, short sleeve tops, and lightweight pants or jeans. Sneakers or sandals are appropriate footwear, and it is suggested to bring an umbrella for rainy days. Although it is summer, it is also advised to bring a thin jacket and avoid direct sunlight during the day.

Is it OK to wear crop tops in Japan?

When it comes to wearing crop tops in Japan, it’s important to be cautious. Women are expected to be modest with their cleavage, as even a slight amount of skin exposure may not be considered appropriate. If your crop top is revealing or could expose your bra, it’s best to leave it behind.

Is it okay to wear sweatpants in Japan?

If you are planning to visit Japan, it is advised not to pack sweatpants or jumpsuits unless you only intend to wear them in your hotel room. The locals wear such clothing solely for gym purposes, and you may be considered underdressed if you wear them in public.

Is it rude to not wear socks in Japan?

It is customary to bring a new pair of socks to wear when entering someone’s home without shoes, as it is considered impolite to walk around barefoot. This is especially important in formal situations. Slippers are generally acceptable to wear indoors, except in rooms with tatami flooring.

Be Mindful of Tattoos

In Japan, tattoos are still associated with the yakuza, or Japanese mafia, and as such, they are often frowned upon in more traditional settings. While it’s becoming more common for younger Japanese people to have tattoos, it’s still a good idea to cover them up when visiting religious sites or other conservative areas. Some public baths and swimming pools also prohibit entry to those with visible tattoos.

Consider the Dress Code at Onsen

Onsen, or hot springs, are a popular attraction in Japan. However, it’s important to be mindful of the dress code at these facilities. In most cases, guests are expected to be completely naked when using the hot springs. As such, it’s important to be comfortable with nudity before visiting an onsen.

Pack Appropriately for the Season

As previously mentioned, Japan experiences four distinct seasons. When packing for your trip, it’s important to take the season into account and pack accordingly. For example, if you’re visiting during the summer months, lightweight clothing made from breathable materials will be essential for staying cool and comfortable.

Respect Local Customs

While it’s okay to wear shorts in Japan, it’s important to respect local customs and culture. In general, Japanese people tend to dress more conservatively than in Western countries. As such, it’s a good idea to avoid clothing that is too revealing or flashy. Additionally, it’s important to be polite and respectful when interacting with locals.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, while wearing shorts in Japan is generally acceptable, it’s important to be mindful of local customs and dress appropriately for the occasion. By doing so, you can ensure that you have a comfortable and enjoyable trip to this fascinating country. Remember to pack appropriately for the season and be respectful of local customs, and you’re sure to have a great time in Japan.

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