Renting a kimono in Japan seems to be on everyone’s to-do list, so here is a review of my experience.
Shicata Bldg. 5F
Otabi-cho 59, Shimogyo-ku
My 1 day rental (return by 7:30 PM) – ¥ 6, 264 (Less than $60)
If you were to ask me for a recommendation to a kimono rental place, this would be my answer to you. Although $60 is a hefty price, me and my friends unanimously agreed our experience at Kyoto Kimono Rental 41 was worth every penny. The staff is super attentive, they make you feel special and cared for. It felt like I was in the hands of my aunties and not strangers. I was able to confidently say, this is $60 well spent when I saw the final results.
In comparison to what we saw when we were out and about, our hair, kimono, and accessories, all looked noticeably better. Whether it was design or quality, just by looking, the material of our kimono set seemed well-made, thicker, and richer so we were pretty content with ourselves and the location we chose. We noticed during the time we spent at the rental, this place felt more local than touristy since the staff spoke little to no English and we were the only ones there for the kimono rental which was amazing because we felt like VIPs since their entire staff was only taking care of us. There is no guarantee this will be the case when you visit, so be sure to make a reservation.
During the day of our rental, we arrived half an hour after they opened and once we entered, it seemed like we were at the wrong place because half of the store is a salon. We went straight to the reception desk and a lady who spoke minimal English greeted us and asked us to choose a plan. Based on the plan and add-on’s you choose, the prices will vary. After my group decided, we each paid and the fun began. It took about 1.5 hrs (2 hrs max) to get all glammed up, so try to be there as early as possible to get the most out of your rental. See below for pictures and details.
I selected the following:
Rental Plan B for Women – ¥ 5, 400 (Bag, Shoes, Socks are included)
Hair Arrangement for rental B – ¥ 540
Hair Accessories – ¥ 324
Total: ¥ 6, 264
If you are an indecisive person, like myself, I wish you the best because putting my set together took forever, but it is a lot of fun. You would need to select a kimono design/cloth, an obi cloth, an obi accessory, patterned undergarment, bag, hair accessory, and hair style. Socks and shoes will be provided based on your kimono’s design.
If you focus hard enough, you can see me frowning because this photo was taken at the end of the day when we had to return our kimonos. Based on the photo, you can see clearly that the kimono was not merely one layer but instead it consisted of 3 layers making it feel more luxurious and authentic.
My hairstylist was friendly and my hairdo was exactly as I requested. It was a mixture of my own preference and a selection from the book. To save time, I did my makeup while she worked on my hair. Also, if you are interested in having your makeup done, it is available for a fee, but unless you REALLY want to. I would not recommend it. My friend who tried it was not happy with the outcomes because it was a very au natural look which she was not accustomed to.
All done and ready to explore Kyoto! We all selected the same package except my friend (2nd from the left) who added the makeup option. Her makeup in this photo is not what they applied because she removed it and reapplied it before I could snap a photo.
The socks we were given are new and for you to keep as a gift for hygiene purposes. Luckily, the slippers you see here were not the traditional wooden platforms. These were more comfortable than expected because they are cushioned and easy to walk in. Felt like slippers you would wear around the house.
Everything looks prettier when you’re in a Kimono. Walking with so many layers was difficult because I was forced to take smaller steps. This will take some time to get used to especially when you are trying to be graceful at the same time. Honestly, at one point I gave up and parted the layers to be able to take bigger steps. Just be sure to adjust yourself before your next photo!
This must be how Cinderella felt at midnight. Stripped of my beautiful princess attire because the clock struck 7:30pm and my rental is due. In addition to the socks, we each received a complementary photo they took of us earlier.
That is all for now.
Check out my previous post for my FULL Itinerary.
If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below. Let me know if you are itching to try on a kimono now!
Until next time,