If you love traditional costumes, a must-have experience you will definitely not want to miss is to try on a kimono in Kyoto, a city located just an hour away from Osaka via train. Not to worry, it is not necessary to purchase a Kimono which can cost a bomb. Kimono rental service is rather common in Kyoto and you not only get the chance to wear a kimono, but also gain a wonderful opportunity to walk around the streets of Japan in one!
Apart from the eating and sight-seeing, the thought of wearing a real kimono was what really thrilled me. Hence, you can imagine the excitement I felt when the day finally came for me to put on a kimono! This photo diary is dedicated to all my kimono shots taken at a well known shrine just a stone’s throw away from where I rented my kimono. Be prepared to be bombarded with lots of images!
To end off, here are some facts about renting a kimono in Kyoto:
1) An appointment is usually needed, at least a few days before your visit. You will be turned away if no appointment is made prior to the visit, especially on busy occasions such as Sakura viewing season, weekends and holidays.
2) The cost of renting a kimono has risen in April 2014. For the shop I went to (Yume Kyoto), the cost of rental is ether 4000 yen, 5000 yen or 8000 yen (prices not inclusive of GST yet). The cost is dependent on the design and quality of the kimono you have chosen. Make-up is NOT included and hair setting is available at an additional 1500 yen nett.
3) Rental is available from 9am onwards and the Kimono must be returned to the shop by 5pm at the latest. Timing and conditions might differ for different shops so check before you book your appointment.
4) The duration of choosing a kimono, wearing it and the hair-making is around an hour. From my personal experience, the most time consuming activity is the choosing of a kimono I like. Although I would not describe the range of designs as extensive, I still find it somewhat challenging to pick a design as every kimono has its own unique beauty.
5) As a kimono is extremely expensive, it is important to return the kimono in its original condition. Any damages will be chargeable.
6) In case you are wondering, it is not that easy to walk around in a kimono as it is matched with slippers without much support for the feet.For the shop I visited, a pair of free socks were given to go with the slippers. Also, a kimono is pretty tight at the waist with limited allowance at the skirt area, so it is not as comfortable to wear as one may think.
7) Is it a worthwhile experience? DEFINITELY YES!
Hope the above information is helpful for anyone who is interested to rent a Kimono!
Hope you love this post as much as I do! See you again soon!
300 Gion-cho Higashiyama-ku Kyoto-shi
ACROSS Yasaka building 4F
Person in charge
OPEN : 9:00 – 18:00 （every day of the year）