Last year, before starting the Kumano Kodo, I spent a morning in Kyoto. During the visit by Higashiyama and Gion One thing caught my attention: the number of people who I visited Kyoto in Kimono. And I thought: next time Trip to Japan I will also rent a kimono. Said and done, in this story I explain my experience in renting a kimono in Kyoto.
That morning I woke up early to take a walk before breakfast for Gion, since at nine in the morning we had time to rent the kimono. On several occasions I've taken yukata (summer kimono), but since dressing a kimono proper is quite complicated, I had never done it. And honestly it was something that made me very excited.
In Kyoto there are dozens of specialized stores in the Kimono and Yukata rental. In some it is not necessary to make a previous reservation, but like the time of hanami It was a very high season, I decided to book it before even traveling to Japan. After consulting several companies online I opted to rent it in Rental Kimono Okamoto at the branch they have in the Gion neighborhood. Being high season you had to book the full set of Full Scale Attire Plan which includes the full kimono, the tabi (socks) and a bag. This plan costs 5000 yen (plus taxes) and already put, I added that they combed me for 500 yen more.
We arrived at the store fifteen minutes before the opening time and there was already a little queue. At nine o'clock it opened and madness broke out. About twenty girls, mostly Chinese, entered as if there was no tomorrow hunting for the prettiest kimono. In the store there were clerks who helped you choose the kimono and accessories according to your tastes. Once you choose everything, they accompany you to a waiting room until they call you to get dressed.
He kimono It is the traditional Japanese costume. Until the early twentieth century all Japanese dressed with him. After the Meiji restoration and the opening of the country to the West, the usual clothing in Japan became westernized. The difficulty of wearing a kimono, especially knotting the obi (belt), added to the face of this garment, caused the use of the kimono to decline day by day and limit its use in social gatherings and ceremonies. That is why lately initiatives are emerging to promote the use of the kimono: either creating new designs that are easier to wear or promoting the rental of the kimono in tourist areas, such as Kyoto Kimono Passport, a pass that offers discounts on tourist attractions in Kyoto to everyone who is dressed in a kimono. You can download it here.
We continue with the kimono experience: when there was space available I went to dressing room. There were six clerks wearing kimonos with incredible mastery and speed. I put on the first tabi (white socks) and then they put me a long-sleeved white cotton petticoat, which is a piece to maintain the hygiene of the kimono and the one who wears it. The next layer they put on me was the nagajuban.