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Free if You Wear a Kimono!? Go Empty-Handed with "Kyoto Walks with Rental Kimonos"

Free if You Wear a Kimono!? Go Empty-Handed with "Kyoto Walks with Rental Kimonos"
Sako
Sako
Updated Sep 23, 2016

If you’ve been wanting to put a unique spin on your trip, then how about going on a walk of Kyoto wearing a kimono? Kyoto has a lot to offer for those who wear kimono. They have not just places for repairing kimono that have gotten worn down or places where you can receive special benefits by going in your kimono, but also places that offer free admission to anyone wearing one. Of course, you’ll fit right in, so much so that you’ll feel strange about always being in normal clothes! So then, let"s go to Kyoto and put on a kimono!

It’s a OK Even If You Know Nothing About Kimono! Leave Everything to the Pros!

There are many rental kimono shops in Kyoto. Depending on the store, they may also offer Japanese bags and Japanese hairstyles to complete your kimono. Today I would like to introduce to you a store established 180 years ago called Okamoto.

Okamoto, the Kyoto-style store that rents out kimono, is in a convenient sightseeing location, just a one-minute walk to Kiyomizu Temple. When you enter inside you will see over 1000 kimono. They have everything from antique kimonos to those with modern-day patterns from designers. Their sizes can accommodate everyone, so whether you’re short or tall, they can assemble a kimono for you.

With a professional, getting into a kimono takes about 15 minutes but it took longer than I expected to pick out a kimono. After all, you want to choose one that you like and that suits you!

With lightly colored kimono patterned with cherry blossoms, apricot blossoms, camellia or peony blossoms for spring; wisteria and hydrangea for summer; maple, bellflowers and dragonflies for fall and chrysanthemum and bamboo for winter, you can wear kimono unique to the season and have a change from your everyday clothes.

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Once you’ve Picked Your Kimono, Find a Matching Sash and Accessories!

They also have so many obi (kimono sash), so be sure to pick out one with a pattern and color that suits your kimono. But don’t worry–you can also get advice from their professional staff. You’ll hear women all over saying to their friends things like “I like this obi but I can’t get rid of that one…”

They don’t just have kimono for women either! They also have a plethora for children (ages three and up) and men, with sizes from 155cm to 190cm. Perhaps a specialty with Okamoto is that They’re not just for women or mother-daughter trips, but also husband and wife, couples, and families.

The picture is of a kimono for cherry blossom viewing. For the stripped-pattern pink kimono they also chose a berry-colored sash and sash fastener with a cherry blossom design. With cherry blossoms all over you, it just screams of springtime. There are so many ways to dress up and they said that there are many repeat customers who try something new each time.

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Get Your Hair Set Up in a Wagami (Japanese Hairstyle) and Complete Your Elegant Look!

Their beautician specialists will give you a Japanese hairstyle complete with curlers to complete the look. They will do your hair just as the picture shows while you have a nice chat together. You can also take in a clipping from a magazine, use photographs of other customers, or just leave it up to the stylist. All in all, it takes about 15 minutes for them to skillfully match your hair length with your chosen ornaments.

The store is open until 8PM so you can spend a long time walking Kyoto in your kimono and get the most out of it. They also rent out Japanese style bags, zori (straw sandals) and Japanese make-up to get you all ready for your time out in Kyoto!!

  • Rental kimonos cost 3000 JPY. Hairstyle costs 500 JPY.
  • They are very busy during the spring and autumn seasons so make a reservation and arrive with plenty of time so you can smoothly transfer into your kimono. Please contact the store for details.

Okamoto Kimono - Main Branch 〒605-0846 6-538-14 Gojouhashi Higashi, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto City Tel: +81 75-525-0117 Open Year-round 9:00AM - 8:00 PM

  • Kiyomizuzaka Branch 〒605-0862 2-237-1-1 Kiyomizu, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto City Tel: +81 75-525-7115 Open Year-round 9:00AM - 8:00PM

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Take Along a "Kyoto Kimono Passport" and Enjoy Kyoto with benefits!

Your “Kyoto Kimono Passport” is a fun service in Kyoto whereby you can receive preferential treatment and special benefits at applicable temples and shrines, art galleries, museums and stores when you show your passport while dressed in a kimono.

You can either get it at the Kyoto Tourist Information Center or by printing it from the “Kyoto Kimono Passport” homepage to receive the same benefits.

There are also places with special benefits just for individuals. Nijo Castle, Heian Jingu Shrine, Kitano Tenmangu Temple’s Sanctuary and the Kyoto Zoo offer free admission to those in kimono–and these aren’t limited-time offers either. Be sure to check with each place for information prior to departing!

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When You Get Tired of Walking, Take a Break at the Sweets Shop Gion Komori

I have to recommend the preeminently situated sweets shop Gion Komori near Tatsumibashi. Their high-quality products have a refined sweetness that uses red adzuki beans. Their original warabimochi (made from bracken-starch) parfait, Komori anmitsu (red bean jam and fruit) and zenzai (red bean soup) are delicious and the perfect complement to wearing a kimono in a tatami room.

When you sit down in a chair wearing a kimono, your sash hits the back of the chair and this causes it to get worn down and then You’ll feel exhausted fussing over it and trying to sit awkwardly. However, the chairs in this store are for a tatami room so you don’t have to worry about your sash when you take a seat.

In addition, their Kyoto-style tatami rooms are perfect for kimono. This store is just as it was made by the teahouse owner and is well known as a place where maiko (apprentice geisha) visit. If you go down the long corridor and continue inside you will see a miniature garden with a brook and be able to fully taste the elegance of Kyoto. While It’s a Japanese sweets shop, It’s also unmistakably a charming spot for photography!

Sweet Shop Gion Komori 〒605-0087 61 Motoyoshi-cho, Shinbashi-nishi-iru, Higashi-oji, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto City

TEL +81 75-561-0504

11:00AM - 9:00PM (last order at 8:30PM)

*Open until 8:00 PM on Sundays and holidays (last order at 7:30PM)

*Closed on Wednesdays (but open on holidays)

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In Conclusion

Once you’ve finished with your Kyoto trip and return home, take a look through your photographs to see yourself in a form different form the everyday, and recall this unique kimono adventure. Rather than just memories of sightseeing, by wearing a kimono and immersing yourself in the atmosphere of Gion (spirit of Kyoto), you can have an amazing and unforgettable experience. This spring invite your friends and family to go on a Kyoto walk in a kimono!

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