Immersing in a culture different from ours is fun. For the Japanese culture which has won many hearts all over the world through the media and J-Pop wave, many people came to embrace Japan and learn about its culture, lifestyle, and even the language. Apart from these cultural immersion activities, kimono rental – a service that allows foreigners to wear the Japanese traditional clothing is gradually gaining popularity among tourists lately.
Kimono are garments worn daily by Japanese during the olden days. It is a long-collared robe with long wide sleeves and is worn by wrapping it around the body and secured with by a sash (belt) tied at the back. Kimono rental services are available across Japan, particularly at easy-to-access tourists spots such as Asakusa, Ginza, Gion and Kamakura. Let’s find out more about kimono rental where you could rent a kimono outfit!
About Kimono Rental
Renting is a cheaper alternative as compared to buying a kimono, which would cost an exorbitant price. Hence, renting is a great option for travellers who wanted to dress up in this traditional outfit but not keen to burn their pockets. If you have the cravings to dress up in a beautiful kimono like a Japanese, this is also an option you could consider.
When renting a kimono from a shop, there are other services that may or may not be included such as;
- Kimono fitting
- Rent hair accessories
- Photography session
- Walk around the city in your kimono
Depending on the type of kimono rental package offered, the services included varies for each rental shop. Some extra services are free but some are not, so it is best to first study the type of rental package offered before making a decision. On top of that, I strongly recommend making an advanced booking (via online) if you are seriously considering a kimono dress-up experience. This is important so that the shop could reserve the kimono for you in advance.
Best Kimono Rental Shops in Japan
There are many kimono rental shops located in central cities across Japan, but there are five that I would recommend you to try.
Located in Kyoto, this rental shop offers affordable kimono rentals starting from 3,000 yen onwards. Other additional services such as hairstyling and photography would incur extra cost. Besides that, if you did not get to return your kimono to the shop before the closing time, you could do so up to 3 pm the next day without any charge. Kimono-Pro is one of the few rental shops that does not charge for next-day returns.
Kimono rental: 3,000 yen onwards
Japanese hairstyle: 2,000 yen
Photography service: 12,800 yen onwards
Address: Bukoji Muromachi Building, 225 Itoyacho, Shimogyo Ward, 600-8432 Kyoto
Tel. no.: +81-75-353-8800
Opening Hours: 10 AM – 7 PM
2. Kyoetsu Gion
Kyoetsu Gion is another inexpensive kimono rental that offers decent quality kimono for rent. With multiple branches in Kyoto and a shop in Tokyo, the cost of renting one kimono is slightly cheaper than Kimono-Pro. The ladies’ and men’s kimono selection ranges from standard to high quality, making it convenient to choose based on your budget. They also offer quick kimono fitting service which only takes 30 minutes, priced at 1,000 yen.
Kinomo rental: 2,500 yen onwards
Hairstyle: 1,000 yen
Fitting service (30 mins.): 1,000 yen
Address (Gion): 605-0824, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto Minami-machi 418
Tel. no.: +81-75-754-8644
Opening Hours: 9 AM – 6:30 PM
Other outlets: Kawaramachi, Kyoto Station, Shinkyogoku, Gionshinbashi, Arashiyama, Tokyo Asakusa
3. Aki Kimono Rental
If you want to have a kimono experience in Tokyo, Shibuya’s Aki Kimono Rental is a recommended location. Although the kimono package may seem pricey here (more than 6,000 yen), it is a well-rounded package that comes with one-day rental, dressing service, kimono, Japanese bag and sandals. Other unique kimono rental plans include experiencing the tea ceremony as well as enjoy the “Mini Sushi” lunch, which is worth checking out.
One-day kimono experience: 6,480 yen
Tea experience plan: 6,480 yen + 3,240 yen
Mini Sushi lunch: 3,240 yen
Address (Shibuya): 15−14 Maruyamachō Shibuya-ku Tokyo
Opening Hours: 10 AM – 8 PM (Mon. – Sat.), 10 AM – 6 PM (holiday)
Tel. no.: +81-03-3476-3341
Other outlets: Ginza, Ikebukuro, Yokohama
4. Iza Kimono Rental Asakusa
This rental house has elegant kimono that comes with matching sash. As the shop is located near the iconic Kaminarimon, dressing up in a kimono would be fun as you could visit Sensoji and walk around the historical areas nearby. Local Japanese and foreign tourists alike enjoy renting inexpensive kimono here and therefore online reservation is strongly recommended to ensure availability. Rented kimono has to be returned before the shop close by 6 pm.
Basic kimono rental set: 3,000 yen onwards
5. Kyoto Kimono Rental Wargo
Despite the name of the shop, Kyoto Kimono Rental Wargo is not only in Kyoto but has branches in the Kanto region, Osaka and Hokuriku.
This shop offers great bargain with their cheapest kimono rental from 2,900 yen onwards, inclusive of kimono, sash, bag, sandals, kanzashi (hair accessories), hadagi (Japanese shirt), nagajuban (inner robe), tabi, and fitting service without extra charge. If you prefer kimono which is more fashionable, I would recommend the premium or the high-end kimono plan. The optional photography session would incur an extra cost (1,000 yen).
Standard kimono plan: 2,900 yen onwards
Premium kimono plan: 3,900 yen onwards
High-end kimono plan: 4,900 yen onwards
Address (Kyoto tower store): Kyoto-fu Kyoto-shi Shimogyo-ku Higashishiokohji-cho 721-1 Kyoto Tower Building 3F
Opening Hours: 9 AM – 7 PM
Tel. no.: +81-075-600-2830
Other outlets: Gionshijo, Arashiyama, Arashiyama Togetsukyo, Kiyomizuzaka, Kyoto Station, Ninenzaka, Kinkakuji, Shinkyohgoku, Daimaru Shinsaibashi, Sensoji, Tokyo Skytree, Kamakura Komachi, Kanazawa Korinbo
With such great bargain of kimono rental, it is definitely a must-try during your Japan travel! Start saving money so that you could have this once-in-a-lifetime experience! Do invest in the photography services if you could – the photo quality are good and you could hang it up in your home!