Food, culture, technology, fashion, kimono...there are just too many things we love about Japan.
My profound interest for Japan has started early and the enthusiasm never fades.
This traditional yet modern culture has the deep interesting history that charms the foreigners to discover and learn more, as I am being mesmerized by its beauty.
Japan have creativity without a border.
It has a futuristic modern technology.
Yet it preserves the traditional norms and beauty.
It can be romantic.
And it can be cuteness overload.
There is beautiful nightlife.
And there is stunning nature.
Each season has its own personality and beauty.
My interest for Japan starts with, of course — fashion.
Since young age with my deep interest in creating, I’ve studied Japanese fashion extensively, drawn kimono, and observed the trends of modern Japanese fashion. I especially adore the beautiful colors and detailed art on kimono and incorporated it in my previous fashion brand.
For this time around in Japan, I decided to try to do a Tokyo kimono rental for the experience.
I researched on Tokyo Cheapo, one of my favorite website with lots of Tokyo-related info, to check out their recommendations.
The Tokyo kimono rental store I went to is in Asakusa.
Asakusa Kimono Koto
Daigen bldg.2nd floor 2-18-12
Kaminarimon Taito-Ku Tokyo, Japan
The easiest way to get there is to take the Ginza Line or Asakusa Line and take exit A4.
Turn right after you get out of A4, walk a few blocks, the store is on your left side.
There're 2 mannequins with kimono and the sign is colorful and big.
They have one English speaking staff and was able to respond to foreigner’s email inquiries in English. I actually randomly walk in because it’s conveniently located a few blocks from the station and what’s best is that it doesn’t require a reservation. If you want to try a kimono rental experience yourself, I’d recommend you check the weather ahead of time and even though they accept walk-ins, I’d still email the store beforehand to make sure they are open and can accept your reservation.
The Tokyo Kimono Rental Process
The kimono rental process is fairly easy, as they have package plans for you to choose from, written in English.
You can check out their competitive price in English on their website. I paid around ¥5400 because I am a walk-in, if you reserve in advance you can get their promotional price of ¥3300 as shown on their website.
I went for the kimono rental plus hair styling package because I need a hair stylist.
The staffs were super helpful and friendly. Aside from the one English speaking staff, everyone can only speak Japanese so I communicated with them in my hazukashii Japanese.
There are a plethora of kimono to choose from.
I finally decided mine and they started dressing me and was done in no time. (Took about 15 minutes I think?)
They also gave me a bag to store my clothes and held them for me along with my other belongings.
The hair styling took no more than 10 minutes. It was the hair styles that goes well with the kimono, which is usually styling with some hair accessories. They asked me what kind of hairstyle I want, I just let them do whatever.
They gave me a kimono pouch to go with the kimono rental set and took some photos for me indoor. I’m not in favor of too many props, as you can tell...
After that, I was free to go and just had to remember to return the kimono before 6pm.
For this particular day, the kimono was comfortable to wear. But if you were to wear it during summer or winter, it’ll be too hot or too cold and you may rent a kimono coat, or wear the summer yukata.
Tokyo Sky Tree in Asakusa
The slippers were quite comfortable to my surprise. It’s mostly the obi belt that made me had to sit upright with proper posture. Since my mother and sister was visiting at that time, might as well put them to work for some photo shoot. They both were very amused and happy to participate in my whole kimono rental process.
Unfortunately, cherry blossoms has ceased their bloom but the pigeon volunteered to do some Kodak-moments for me.
We took a 7-minute densha to Ueno Park for lunch and some photo shooting.
To my pleasant surprise, I actually ran into my favorite wildlife, or maybe it comes with the kimono rental plan. I don’t know, but it was totally priceless.
Both in Asakusa and Ueno I was stopped many times for photo shooting with strangers, mostly foreigners from abroad from Indonesia, Phiillipines, Americans, Germans, Brazilians, and I don’t know who else. Everyone just friggin loves kimono like I do. So if you are wearing kimono, prepared for more photo shoot than anticipated.
I returned the kimono around 5pm, and the process was easy. Just change back to your clothes and they'll take care of the rest of the returned garments.
Overall, I had a great experience with this store and will highly recommend interested people to go. It’s super easy to find and the price is very affordable compared to other stores. For the convenient location and great experience, I don’t think I’d go anywhere else. All other ones require a bit of search and find in Asakusa.
So that’s my kimono rental experience, hope you get a chance to try it out yourself. Tag me on Twitter @NomadVivien if you went to this store after reading my shares, I’d love to see you in kimono! Arigatou ne~