Having visited Japan numerous times over the years I never got around to ever trying on a kimono. It was one of my bucket list goals that I was able to tick off on this most recent trip. I was lucky enough to share this special experience with none other than my mum – creating great memories that will definitely last a lifetime!
The most difficult decision of the day was – which kimono should we choose?! There were so many different pattern/colour options that it took us a while to figure out which one we wanted to wear. This particular store we visited also had a variety of yukatas available that were much lighter and made out of cotton. These are perfect for Summer however we decided on the traditional kimono instead. Now that we had our kimonos picked out it was time to choose an obi (sash) to match. The ladies advised us to opt for contrasting colours so that it would stand out against our kimono.
I didn’t realise how many layers were involved when wearing a kimono. It was all quite heavy by the time we were completely dressed and lots of sashes and ties were used to hold everything in place. I love how it all came together though, especially the reversible obi which is folded beautifully to reveal the contrasting colour underside creating a great effect. Now time to do my hair and ditch my handbag for something a bit more traditional.
There are a variety of hairstyles that you can choose from that accompany the kimono perfectly. More intricate styles like braids and curls cost more but there are also a lot of simple hairstyles to choose from as well. You also have the option to choose your favorite kanzashi which are beautiful Japanese ornaments to decorate your hair with!
We were each given a pair of white tabi socks as well and to complete our outfit and slipped into some traditional Japanese sandals which were surprisingly extremely comfortable. You actually get to keep the tabi socks as a souvenir!
Photoshoot time! They take a total of 5 shots featuring different props/ poses and they also take a few snaps on your phone for you too like the one above. We chose a couple of shots to be printed out as mementos but don’t worry all the digital shots are promptly emailed through the following day too!
Set aside about an hour for the whole experience of choosing the right kimono and accessories, the dressing, hair and photoshoot. They also conveniently keep all your original clothing and belongings at the shop the entire day while you head out and explore in your kimono! So whether you wear it to lunch, or make a visit to Family Mart to pick up some snacks like I did or just wander around the city you don’t need to return it until 7pm.
I’m not going to lie, it was HOT under those kimonos. We didn’t stay very long outside otherwise I think I would have passed out! At the time it was 28 degrees so if your ever visit in the Summer opt for a yukata as it doesn’t require the extra lining underneath. It would have proved to be much more breezy!
Kimono rentals are extremely popular in places like Gion, Arashiyama and Asakusa however I hardly noticed anyone here in Namba/ Dotonbori/ Shinsaibashi wearing one. It is like I was back at the Taj Mahal again wearing a sari, so be prepared for a lot of people to ask for pictures with you!
I really enjoyed the experience with mum and it will be one of my greatest memories from our trip to Japan! There was such a wide selection of kimonos, yukatas and accompanying accessories available. It is honestly a girls ultimate wardrobe dream!
Even though the store we visited isn’t the cheapest in the area I highly recommend it for the wonderful quality of all the kimonos and accessories. The ladies that dressed us were also so lovely and helpful too. All up we paid about $120 AUD for the both of us. That also included 2 print outs of the photos that were taken on the day. The price slightly varies for different hairstyles and more premium accessories.
Formal kimonos can also be hired for a higher price. I discovered it is much cheaper to book online rather than just turning up to the store like we did. You can check out the store we hired them from here – Wargo
We actually stumbled across this shop while trying to find a place to store our luggage. It is right by Shisaibashi station so you can stroll down to Dotonburi very easily to take some pictures. Let me know if you would like a voucher to store your luggage for free as I was given a few that I won’t be using. If you’re in the Namba area and your flight isn’t until the evening this would come in very handy! Shoot me a message over on Instagram or an email 🙂