(Nov 29, 2013)
Another aspect of Japanese culture that I’m a huge fan of is their beautiful traditional Japanese garment, the kimono.
Having seen it in a lot of the animes and mangas I’ve read, I have always had this on my bucket list of things to do in Japan.
So despite the lukewarm response from my friends on this activity (some even wanting to skip it completely), I stubbornly wanted to go ahead with it and luckily everyone agreed to it in the end 🙂
Originally I wanted the rental where you could go out for the day and wear it while exploring the sights in Kyoto. This was one of the options I was thinking of going to. However with the price of this ranging from 4k-6k yen in order to get everything including the hairstyle and all the accessories that come with it, this isn’t something that everyone was willing to pay that much for.
We then found out that the ryokan near where we’re staying at also offered kimono rentals that included everything (including fixing the hair for the girls) for just 1,800 yen! You can’t wear it outside and can only take photos near the hostel.. But with such a significant price difference I was more than happy to just go with this one as long as I get to dress up and take photos in it.
They only had 2 people helping everyone dress up.. so each girl would take 30 minutes to finish dressing up and fixing the hair, while the guys would just take 10 minutes at the most. Given there were 7 girls to get through, it took us at least 2 hours to finish.. But I didn’t feel the wait because I was having fun seeing the entire process of how they dress us up. From picking which kimono design we wanted, to then having the staff match up the inner layer with the outer one..
and the process of wearing the belt (obi),
the adorable socks and slippers..
And the different hair styles each of us girls got..
Also learned some interesting trivia about kimonos.. One of our friends ended up picking this kimono with some sort of symbol embroidered in the back. The staff told us that this was a family emblem and means that this kimono belongs to a specific family line. This made this particular kimono more expensive/fancier than the others.
I was so happy with the end result!! I looked just like the Japanese girls in the mangas I read!!
What made me even happier was seeing how excited everyone was in each of their transformations. Everyone was taking photos and doing different poses that we spent I think 1-2 hours in the kimonos and lost track of time.
The group photo of all the girls together in particular is my favourite because of the varying designs and hairstyles each of us got..
We were also lent some props for our picture taking like swords, umbrellas, and fans…
I was worried that my friends would get annoyed at how pushy I was with doing this, so I was relieved to see they enjoyed this as much as I did 🙂 Also I didn’t feel cold at all while we were outside wearing the kimonos (which the others were worried about).. Another awesome experience in our group trip to Japan.