Kyoto Travel, Pretty Kimono in beautiful Kyoto/ Kimono Rental Shop/ Kimono Selection Tips

April 16, 2019

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Travel in March 2019

The idea of going to Kyoto during the cherry blossom season was dominant to me, so I went on a trip to Kyoto. This time, I decided to try on the kimono. Hanbok(Korean traditional Costume) is a familiar thing I've seen since I was a kid(because I am Korean), but kimono was not. I have just seen them in Japanese movies and dramas a few times. Therefored I had no idea about kimono, so I prepared for the trip and googled it a lot. And I would like to take picture. It was only a few days before my departure that I could get a photographer to take a snapshot. Lucky......!

 

 

 

 

From what I've experienced, if it doesn't cost a lot of money, and if possible, I recommend you to rent a beautiful and colorful kimono. when you borrow a kimono, you don't have to feel price sensitive too much. Even if it costs a little more, it's better to choose something so pretty. Of course, it doesn't mean you have to choose the expensive one. Where can I get that attention? We don't have many times to wear kimono, so let's try the beautiful pretty thing on opportunity like this. 

In addition, if you have a long hair, I recommend you pay more and also have your hair arranged with professional skill. Long hair doesn't match for kimono. A tidy and stylish up style suits kimono best. I went out in kimono, so many foreigners came up to me and asked me to take pictures with me. Maybe they thought I was Japanese. But many request like this was not once or twice. My photographer was even surprised by the many requests. 

For your information, my photographer is a veteran, Jae-il Kim, who lives in Japan and works for a Japanese agency. What he said...

 

1. He said, "It's unusual when I'm shooting, and sometimes foreigners ask me if they can take a picture with my guest"

2. The photographer showed great satisfaction with my styling and asked me where I borrowed the kimono, the information about the kimono shop, and whether I did my hair and makeup myself.

 

Then let's summarize my kimono experience!

 

 

 

 

See Googlemaps

 

Kyoto Kamogawa Branch (near Kiyomizu Gōjō Station)

I visited Kyoto Kamogawa branch, which is close to Kiyomizu Gojō Station (one minute walk). That's why I chose this branch is the review of actual users. I was also expected to wear a kimono here, because everyone in the review said the kimonos there were pretty and the staff were kind.

 

I checked Googlemaps at Kiyomizu Gojo Station on Kaihan Line and found it was only a minute's walk from station. It said Kimono Rental Shop on the third floor of a building with a small mart on the first floor.

 

 

 

 

 

I was supposed to be there at 11 a.m. But, I got there at 11:15 because I got on the wrong train. Fortunately, the staff understood that I had arrived a little late. Tourists unfamiliar with Japanese trains system often arrive later than scheduled, it said. When I arrived, the store was really crowded. Those who are choosing kimonos. Even those who just left the store after all the arrangements were made. I took a pre-printed voucher and showed it to the counter staff, and the employee who checked my name gave me a bag to put my luggage in and  told me the kind of kimono I could choose.

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Choosing a Kimono

Depending on the type of reservation you have made in advance, the kimono you can choose will vary. The expensive kimonos were definitely Furisode. Furisode, characterized by its long sleeves, was as expensive as it is very colorful. What I chose was a luxury kimono. The range of female kimonos available at the time was as follows.

Women's Kimono (Basic)

Women's Luxury Kimono

Women's Luxury Furisode Kimono

 

I chose a luxury kimono among them, and the cost-benefit satisfaction was very high. After wearing the kimono formally, everyone around me looked at it and said it was pretty. Of course, I recommend Furisode if you can afford it, but I recommend luxury kimono when it comes to high cost-effectiveness. I don’t much recommend the basic design of kimono.

 

I decided to wear a kimono clothe after thinking for a long time in front of the luxury kimono section. A little bit sad is that I couldn't choose after trying it on. This is because it takes at least 20 minutes to wear with Kinomo master. That's why You have to choose your favorite kimono cloth and place it on your body to determine if it suits you well.

 

 

And here's an important tip for choosing Kimono clothes!

★ Tips for choosing a pretty kimono!

① Just choose something glamorous when choosing traditional clothes.

The meaning of glamour here is colorful. The more you choose the deep and colorful clothes you've never tried before, the brighter your face looks. Such as clear pink, red, blue, and green, for example. Also, choose a colorful color, but choose patterns that match it. It is better to choose contrasting patterns, whether large or small. In fact, many people choose light pastel tones, which are pretty to look at, but when worn in real life, it is difficult to create a colorful or sunny atmosphere.

 

 

② If you are unfamiliar with colorful colors and choose simple colored fabrics, then design patterns have to be glamours

If the color of a kimono is not as strong as white, beige, or light pink, the colorful pattern is good match. The colorful patterns I'm talking about here are not just the ones of big design. Regardless of the size of the pattern, choose one that has a large amount, or a mixture of colors and designs. 

 

 

③ It is very helpful to understand your personal color. 

A Kimono is an unseparated one-piece outfit. Personal color is important because it has the same type of design and color from top to bottom. Being diagnosed and aware of your personal color before wearing a kimono helps you choose a kimono that suits you without difficulty. My personal color is winter cool ton, so my goal was to choose a clear red. I just stood in front of Kimono and I didn't really understand what did suit for me. So I chose kimono based on two things: red color + a fancy pattern

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Choosing an Obi

After selecting a kimono, you should choose the obi that tighten the waist of the kimono. This is also an extension of choosing a kimono that suits you. When I made the final choice of kimono, the staff led me to the obis section. There were obis of different designs and colors as well as kimono. The question was which one best suits my kimono. Choosing an obi was not easy, either.

 

I put more than ten obis on my chosen kimono. I didn't feel anything at all, It was hard to imagine myself wearing a kimono because it was my first time wearing a kimono, and it was even more difficult to choose a obi that matched the kimono. the employee asked me, "What do you think of this red?" She handles dozens of kimonos and clothes every day. I decided to believe her recommendation.

 

 

 

 

 

When I picked both Kimono and Obi, I got a number card with my socks. After waiting for a moment, another staff who dresses customers in kimono called my number. I packed my suitcase and moved to the dressing room. The staff took care of the clothes. There were two kimono masters in the dressing room who dresses customers in kimono

 

 

3. Wearing Kimono

Hanbok is never a simple dress to wear. But when I tried on Kimono, Kimono was more difficult to wear than hanbok. The two kimono masters had no time to rest dressing tourists like me in kimonos. First, take off your clothes and wear kimono-style thin underwear. No, they dressde me up. When you wear Kimono’s underwear, they tie your chest part very tight with a white string, and then you wear a kimono-style long underwear in a slightly thicker form. Then, they tighten your upper and lower abdomen with a white strap again. I was a little embarrassed because It was so tight around my body and hard to breathe at the moment. Of course, it was nothing compared to when the obi was in the back. After a few rounds of tying up with white strings, I could wear a selected kimono. In the process, they neatly arranged all the lines of my clothes and after that I could wear a kimono. Only when this whole process is over can we see the wearing of Kimono. Then I put on a waistband. At this time, it was the most difficult to breathe. And finally, I could wear an obi on top of it. The whole process to this point takes about 20 minutes. This means it takes 20 minutes even with the expert's skill. . . . .! I couldn't wear this by myself.

 

One point is that once you wear a kimono, your movement becomes very uncomfortable. The body was immobilized to the point that it was impossible to bend your back. Therefore, you should wear socks in advance before wearing a kimono. Or you'll have to juggle to wear your socks.

 

 

 

 

 

It is familiar for us to see a woman in a kimono kneeling down and sitting neatly. In fact, I felt most comfortable with my knees bent like that in a kimono. Thanks to a rigid support in the obi, the waist and abdomen were naturally supported by strength. Wearing a kimono, the most comfortable position was to sit like that, lie down or lean slightly. There was no particular comfortable posture. It was... uncomfortable.

 

 

 

 

 

A bag for storing personal belongings You must remember that number so you can find it easily.

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Hair styling

If you have bobbed hair, you can create a kimono look just by curling your hair lightly. Of course, there is no need to add hairstyles price in such cases, but if you have long hair? It is a difference case. To be honest, Kimono is pretty when the neckline is exposed, and since the collar near the neckline is built, the long hair will remove the charm of the kimono. It's not pretty in a word. Therefore, if you have long hair, I recommend an updo style. Updo is the hairstyle that best matches Kimono. The extra charge of about 15~16 dollars, An expert can handle your hairstyle.

 

 

 

 

 

I didn't have to worry about what kind of hair style I should choose. Showing me the pictures of hair style, the hair stylist told me to choose the hair style I want. I was glad to hear what the most popular hairstyle.

 

 

 

 

 

My hairstyle

I had my hair rolled up because I had no bangs. If I had bangs, I wouldn't have to. After the hair was done, I had to pick a big flower or two small ones. I chose two small flowers, a similar color flower in my kimono design. When I saw the finished hairstyle, I liked it, so I asked the hair stylist to take a picture! I could't believe you can make this hairstyle for less than 20 dollars! It was beautiful~

 

 

 

 

 

I did makeup myself before I came here. I bought false eyelashes and glue at Don Quixote(near Kyoto station) yesterday and earrings at 300 yen in a hurry. I finished my makeup with my usual cosmetics. That day, the photographer asked me if I had done my own makeup, or if I got extra professional help! I took a selfie because I liked the way I looked in the colorful kimono. It was so strange a little bit to see myself in the mirror.

 

 

5. Selecting other props

I could borrow a kimono bag for free, but those (items for free) didn't catch my eye. I booked Luxury kimono + hair style in advance, but the pretty bag was picked for an additional 540 yen on the spot! I received the fan as a gift. This fan was very useful when taking my pictures. Some of the most commonly used props for kimono shooting are fan, umbrella and fox mask.

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. Shoes

There were many different kinds of shoes, but my big feet were a problem. Big shoes were not available because they were quickly selected. If you have big feet like me, consider choosing shoes first (before wearing Kimono). Or make a reservation from the beginning and pick your shoes at ease.

 

 

 

 

 

 

7. Complete!

After all this, I was finally ready to go on a trip with Kimono in Kyoto. Kimono is actually an outfit far from convenience, If you wear a kimono and travel to Kyoto, you should take care of walking first. The stride narrows, and it's uncomfortable to sit down. It's hard to eat because you've got your stomach tightened. Moreover, the advantage was that the cold weather does not feel cold due to the internal fever from the tightly-knit abdomen. 

Now let's take a look at the pretty kimono photos taken by photographer Jae-il Kim!

 

 


Snapshots in Kyoto

I walked near the Gion-shijo station with photographer Mr.Kim. Many people visit the area near Gion-shijo Station, which represents the atmosphere of Kyoto, because it is good for enjoying desserts at japanese cafe as well as cherry blossoms in Kyoto. 

The people were tourists, and there were many people like me, renting kimono and enjoying Kyoto's day. While posing excitedly as a photo model, I suddenly realized that many foreign tourists were taking pictures of me. In fact, on my way to see the photographer, a foreigner approached me and asked me if he could take a picture with me, praising me for being beautiful. I could received more such requests than I imagined in the streets of the Gion-shijo. It was really amazing. While Mr.Kim was waiting for me to take a picture, many people would stand by him to take a picture of me. They asked him to take a picture of me, passing their phones to Mr.Kim. There were a lot of paparazzi. Maybe my pictures are going around on the Internet somewhere.

 

 

Jae-il, Kim  Blog, Instagram, Homepage

Belong to Japan Photography Agency in Kyoto (living in Japan)

Education

- Ecole de Beaux-arts de Versailles

 

Awards

- 1st Prize of the 4th Biennial photographers of the 15th arrondissement of Paris

- Winner of the “Discovery UPC” (Union of Creative Photographers), “Modern Times”, Paris, and many others

 

Press and Edition

- Mamoru Collection Brochure, Photography of Yoshinoyama Photosei, and many others

 

 

 

 

Go straight to book a pretty kimono

 

 

The streets of the Gion-shijo, Kyoto

The streets of the Gion-shijo is always crowded. It’s the most Kyoto-like place, as well as shrines, restaurants and cafes, are also located, making it a perfect hot place for travelers who want to enjoy Kyoto. It's the most traditional and hot. For that reason, there are always a lot of people here. It's not easy for me to take pictures on this street alone. However, it becomes quiet if you pass only one alley in the Gion-shijo street. Even though it is obviously part of the Gion-shijo street, too.

 

 

 

 

 

On the day before, it rained all over Kyoto. I was very worried about the next day's photo shoot. I thought it would be okay if the weather was a little cloudy. However, I hoped that the rain would not come. With my earnest wish, it didn't rain very much on the day of filming. There was no rain except for a moment of capricious rain and showers. Well, there was a brief shower on the path of philosophy, but it was really a short one.

 

 

 

 

 

Kyoto was in full cherry bloom.

Of course, The week when I visited wass the peak of the cherry blossom season, the cherry blossoms were in full bloom with 7-80 percent. Thanks to it, it was not difficult to take pictures with the cherry blossoms in the background. Wherever I went, there were full of cherry blossoms. I really enjoyed taking pictures with the backdrop of cherry blossoms, and even wearing a pretty kimono. Sometimes, I got more attention than cherry blossoms because of my colorful clothes.

 

 

 

 

 

a residential street that I by accidently encountered.

In line with the bloom of cherry blossoms, festivals were held in every village. There were playwrights who reminded me of old Japanese movies and people who were making rice cakes on stone dikes. I walked in the middle of the festival wearing a kimono. As a foreigner, I walked down the street looking most Japanese and countless people looked at me. And the small waterway there and the mallard ducks that were playing in it. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ginkaku-ji Temple, Path of Philosophy in Kyoto

I took a taxi to the path of philosophy located near Ginkaku-ji Temple. The path of philosophy is one of Kyoto's most famous tourist destinations and is a walk of about 2 kilometers that linked from Ginkaku-ji Temple to Nazenji. Japanese philosopher Kitaro Nishida enjoyed contemplation as he took a walk on the road, and it was named "The Path of Philosophy.“ This is famous for the cherry blossoms in spring and beautiful fall leaves in autumn.

Unfortunately, when I visited here, it was not cherry blossoms blooming. As I was about to feel sorry for it, I found a large cherry blossom tree that was in full bloom in the distance. Of course, I posed for pictures there, too! Many tourists took my picture here, too. Many tourists here also asked me if they could take pictures with me. Their requests were more than I thought.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PHOTO BY JAE-IL KIM

APR-2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

The way to return the kimono.

The day I filmed Kimono was when I went back to Korea. Kimono's return time was until 7 p.m. I had to move from Kyoto to the Kansai airport, which was not that short, so I had to return it early. Then, I got used to Kimono, but I felt very sad that I had to return it already. The Japanese transportation system is known to be very systematic, but it was very strange to me as a stranger. Mr. Kim, told how to take the Japanese train in detail to me. He was so sweet.

 

Actually, this picture is not like me now. Shall I say it's strange? So it was more interesting. I felt like I found a new me in a new place. The kimono I wore on this day was quite a splendid one compared to the kimono worn by other tourists. (Except for furisodes and wedding kimono)

 

 

 

I tried on the kimono.

The most special thing about wearing kimono was that it was inconvenient. Kimono may not be familiar with the upper body and the abdomen because it puts a lot of pressure on them. I felt uncomfortable because I had to use my big toe and index toe to put my shoes every time I walked. Fortunately, I got a pair of fluffy shoes! As for the skirt section, a stride had to be small, as it‘s surrounding the legs of the skirt. If I find it fortunate that the subway station stairs in Kyoto were low, but I like to take the elevator instead of stairs. Despite all this inconvenience, I enjoyed trying on the kimono. The biggest advantage was that Kimono was pretty and unique. Though uncomfortable, it was really unique to wear a pretty kimono and look around Kyoto for a day or so. Many foreigners showed interest in the area near the Gion-shijo street station, and later, when posing on the path of philosophy, I was subjected to camera rush from tourists. I think it's all thanks to the fancy kimono. Of course, my beauty is a part of it, isn't it? (just kidding :D)

 

 

 

 

------------------------------ Booking A Pretty Luxury Kimono Rental in Kyoto ------------------------------

 

I made a reservation for Kimono through KKDAY. Most of this trip to Japan were booked through KKDAY, and I was all satisfied. I think the price of kimono is reasonable here. Generally, it takes about 3,000 yen to rent a kimono. But the only kimono that you can borrow at that price is the basic design. Those kimonos their colors and designs are not glamorous. You have to pay more to get a better kimono. It's the same for any rental shop in Kyoto.

 

However, considering the interest and reactions I received while walking around Kyoto in kimono, it was an excellent choice to choose luxury kimono rather than ordinary kimono. The day I could have been special because Kimono was colorful.

 

 

 

 

 

1. The shop (I reserved) Branch: Kyoto Kamo River

① Service Hours: daily, 9:00am - 7:00pm

② Address: Kitai Blvd. 3F, 8-438, Miyagawasuji, Higashiyama-ku Kyoto-shi, Kyoto

③ Kimono rental time : Return on the same day by 7:00pm to the shop to return the kimono regardless of the start time. If you rent a kimono early in the morning, you can wear it almost all day.

 

Aside from this branch, there is the Kyoto headquarter branch( 2F, 290 Daigo-cho, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto), so I recommend going to the nearest of the two.

 

2. Booking on kimono rental at a discount

You can book a kimono rental on the KKDAY page that I have reserved.

(1) Go to Kimono Rental Booking page

(2) Kimono Rental Discount Code:  5% discount code: ALICE2019JP

- Discounted bookings are available until May 10, 2019/ available until June 30, 2019.

- No minimum purchase amount condition

 

 

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