The yukata is a kind of kimono. Yukata are very casual kimono, and are worn in the summer.
Normal kimono can be difficult to wear because they have many different parts. These can include a long, stiff obi (belt), a kimono worn underneath the outer kimono, called a juban, and padding to make the shape of the kimono nicer. Many Japanese people cannot put normal kimono on by themselves, as they are so different to everyday clothing.
However, yukata are a type of kimono that is easy to wear. They are made of cotton, and do not have to be worn with a juban. They are worn with thin, short obi, called hanhaba obi, which are easy to tie without someone else's help.
Yukata are worn in the summer, and are very popular to wear to festivals. They are cheap, keep the body cool, and are easy to wash and dry, unlike regular silk kimono.
Yukata used to be decorated only with designs in blue and white colours. However, many modern yukata have bright and colourful designs, making them fun and fashionable to wear. Many young women wear yukata and geta (Japanese clogs) at summer festivals, fireworks displays, and Bon festival dances.
Recently, yukata have been adopted as summer uniforms in some of the restaurants and theme parks in Japan. The sumo wrestler wears a yukata in his daily life, every single day. In addition, a type of yukata called nemaki are used as night clothes for guests at many Japanese hotels and inns. Unlike yukata, and regular kimono, nemaki are not made differently for men and women.