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Is it OK to wear shorts in Japan?


Japan is a country with a rich culture and unique customs, which can be confusing for tourists. One of the things that can be tricky to navigate is what to wear during your stay. As the weather warms up, many tourists wonder if it’s appropriate to wear shorts in Japan. In this article, we’ll explore this question in-depth and help you understand the cultural norms around clothing in Japan.

The History of Japanese Fashion

To understand whether it’s OK to wear shorts in Japan, it’s important to look at the history of Japanese fashion. Traditional Japanese clothing is known for being modest and covering the body, with a focus on simplicity and elegance. However, modern Japanese fashion has become more westernized in recent years, with young people often wearing more revealing clothing like short skirts and crop tops.

Japanese Snack Box

Climate Considerations

Another factor to consider when deciding whether to wear shorts in Japan is the climate. Japan has hot summers and high humidity, particularly in areas like Tokyo and Osaka. If you’re visiting during the summer months, you’ll likely want to wear cooler clothing to stay comfortable. However, it’s still important to be aware of cultural norms around appropriate dress.

Cultural Norms Around Clothing

In Japan, there are certain cultural norms around clothing that are important to be aware of as a tourist. While many Japanese people dress in western-style clothing, there is still an emphasis on modesty and showing respect for others. This means that it’s generally not appropriate to wear revealing or provocative clothing in public spaces.

Attire for Different Settings

The appropriateness of wearing shorts in Japan can also depend on the setting you’re in. For example, if you’re visiting a temple or shrine, it’s important to dress respectfully and conservatively. This means covering your shoulders and legs, so wearing shorts would not be appropriate. On the other hand, if you’re visiting a park or casual restaurant, shorts may be more acceptable.

Business Dress Code

If you’re visiting Japan for business purposes, it’s important to be aware of the dress code expectations in professional settings. In general, business attire in Japan is quite conservative, with dark suits and ties being the norm for men. Women are expected to dress modestly as well, with skirts below the knee and blouses with high necklines.

Tourist Dress Code

For tourists visiting Japan for leisure purposes, the dress code expectations are generally more relaxed. However, it’s still important to dress appropriately for different settings and show respect for Japanese customs. This means avoiding clothing that is too revealing or provocative and opting for more modest options.

Local Attitudes Towards Shorts

While there is no hard and fast rule about whether it’s OK to wear shorts in Japan, local attitudes towards this style of clothing can vary depending on where you are. In general, people in larger cities like Tokyo and Osaka may be more accepting of western-style clothing like shorts. However, if you’re visiting a more rural area or smaller town, you may want to opt for more conservative clothing options.

Alternative Clothing Options

If you’re unsure about whether to wear shorts in Japan, there are plenty of alternative clothing options that can help you stay cool while still showing respect for Japanese culture. For example, lightweight pants or culottes can be a good option for women, while men may want to opt for linen pants or lightweight chinos.

Accessories That Can Help

In addition to choosing appropriate clothing options, there are also accessories that can help keep you cool during hot weather while still showing respect for Japanese culture. For example, wearing a wide-brimmed hat or carrying a parasol can help protect your skin from the sun while also adding a touch of Japanese elegance to your outfit.

Cultural Sensitivity Tips

When traveling to any new country, it’s important to show sensitivity and respect towards local customs and culture. This means doing your research ahead of time and being mindful of how your actions may be perceived by locals. By dressing appropriately and showing respect for Japanese customs around clothing, you can help ensure a positive experience while traveling in Japan.


In conclusion, whether it’s OK to wear shorts in Japan can depend on a variety of factors including cultural norms around clothing, climate considerations, and the setting you’re in. While shorts may be acceptable in some situations and locations, it’s important to be mindful of local attitudes towards western-style clothing and show respect by opting for more modest options when appropriate. By following these tips and being culturally sensitive during your stay in Japan, you can help ensure a positive experience while enjoying all that this amazing country has to offer.

Is it OK to wear shorts in Tokyo?

It is acceptable to wear shorts during the summer in Tokyo and most clothing is allowed on the city streets. However, in the presence of professionally dressed businesspeople, wearing shorts may make you noticeable.

Is there a dress code in Japan?

Tourists visiting Japan do not have a specific dress code to follow, but it is uncommon for locals to expose a lot of skin in public. Depending on the region, temperatures during summer can rise up to 90°.

Can you wear short clothes in Japan?

Wearing shorts in Japan is perfectly acceptable, although it may not be very common among Japanese men, especially on work days. However, there are no restrictions against wearing shorts. Shorts are quite popular among tourists, especially during the summer.

Is it OK to wear crop tops in Japan?

Yes, crop tops are acceptable cloth in Japan because it attracts both men and women. Japanese girls like to wear crop top with high-waist short skirts or paint with boots so that they looks beautiful.

How strict is Japanese dress code?

Dressing modestly is important to maintain cultural customs and norms. Avoid things like tank tops, shorts, and mini-skirts. Opting for more conservative clothing is always a safe bet even if you don’t plan to visit temples or shrines. It’s also generally frowned upon for women to show cleavage.

Are jeans allowed in Japan?

For springtime in Japan, it’s recommended to wear shorts or smart skirts, but make sure they are appropriate for visiting religious sites. On colder days, consider wearing light jeans or cropped trousers. It’s important to keep in mind that Japanese fashion is modern yet conservative, so it’s best to avoid ripped jeans.

It’s worth noting that even within Japan, different regions may have their own unique clothing customs and traditions. For example, in Okinawa, a subtropical island chain located south of mainland Japan, it’s more common to see locals wearing shorts and other casual clothing due to the warmer climate. However, even in Okinawa, it’s important to dress appropriately when visiting temples or other religious sites.

When it comes to footwear, it’s generally acceptable to wear sandals or flip-flops in Japan during the summer months. However, keep in mind that some places may require you to remove your shoes before entering, such as traditional Japanese guesthouses or certain restaurants. In these cases, it’s best to wear slip-on shoes or sandals that are easy to take off and put on.

While it’s important to be mindful of cultural norms around clothing when visiting Japan, it’s also worth noting that Japanese people are generally polite and welcoming towards tourists. If you do happen to make a mistake with your clothing choices, don’t worry too much – locals will likely understand that you’re not familiar with Japanese customs and won’t take offense.

Overall, the key to dressing appropriately in Japan is to show respect for the country’s customs and culture while still being comfortable in hot weather. By choosing modest clothing options and being mindful of local attitudes towards western-style clothing, you can enjoy your stay in Japan while showing respect for its rich cultural heritage.

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