Kimono Date Plan in Kyoto

September 1, 2019

by Norika Uchida, Kanako Fukushima, Noeka

Kawamura Have you ever tried to wear a kimono or yukata? They are famous Japanese traditional attire. Also, kimono were worn by people during the Heian Era (794-1185). Kimono nowadays are worn only for special occasions such as weddings or graduation from school. Conversely, a yukata are a little more casual and are the standard outfit for going to firework festivals in the summer. The Gion Festival is held every July in Kyoto, and you can see a lot of people wearing yukata there. In Kyoto you can experience wearing kimono or yukata, as there are many shops where you can rent them easily. Let us then recommend some good kimono rental shops, and the perfect plan for wearing your kimono on a date with your special someone

In Kyoto, there are many kimono and yukata rental shops where you can rent them easily and dress up like a tradiational Japanese person. So, we will now introduce some of our recommended rental shops to you.

Kyoto Kimono Rental Wargo

The first is Kyoto Kimono Rental Wargo. This shop’s selling point is that they have various plans. For example, The popular standard plan is reasonable with good value, so we recommended this plan to those who are renting a kimono for the first time. This plan costs 3,500 yen (without tax). Then, the Premium Kimono Plan offers many famous brand name kimono. This plan is perfect for the people who want to enjoy the luxury of decorative modern kimono. This plan costs 4,500 yen (without tax). Also, there is the High-end Kimono Plan, which has the best luxurious brand-name kimono with various patterns, so if you can afford it, you should choose this plan. This plan is 5,500 yen (without tax).

Access
1 minute walk from Randen Lines [Saga-Arashiyama Station]
1 minute walk from Keihan Kyoto Line [Gion-Shijo station]
2 minutes walk from Kyoto Station
It’s on the 3rd floor of the Kyoto Tower Building.

Opening hours: 9am – 7pm

Kyo-Temari

The next shop is named, Kyo-Temari. The main selling points of this shop are its simple price and its photography plans. Here, you can rent a high-class, 100% silk kimono at a price of 5,000yen (with tax) which includes dressing up. Also, you can experience a variety of photo shoots, including studio photo shoots and on-location photo shoots. Of course, you can receive the digital data from the photo shoot, and it is also possible to make an album. This plan will certainly give you an awesome Kyoto experience. However, you need to tell the shop what you would like to do when making a reservation.

Access

a 3 minutes walk from Hankyu Kyoto Line [Hankyu Kawaramachi Station], or 5 minutes walk from [Karasuma Station] •5 minutes walk from Kyoto City Subway [Shijo Station] •5 minutes walk from Keihan Main Line Gion [Shijo Station]

Opening hours: 09:00am – 07:00pm

Taking a Rickshaw Ride

We recommend a taking a rickshaw ride when you wear a kimono and go on a date in Kyoto. We often see many couples wearing kimono and riding rickshaws in Kyoto. Rickshaws are mainly used for sightseeing purposes at tourist spots. In Kyoto, Ebisuya runs rickshaw services in the Arashiyama and Higashiyama districts of the city. So, you can ride them there.

In Arashiyama, you can start from the Togetsu-Kyo Bridge, go to the Bamboo Forest, and look around the temples of Sagano, such as Nison-in and Jojakko-ji.

In Higashiyama, you can start from Ichinenzaka or Heian-jingu Shrine, and look around Kiyomizu-dera, Gion and Nanzen-ji.

The price is 3,000 yen per person and 4,000 yen per couple for the cheapest course. Also, there are 30-minute and 1-hour courses. The 30-minute course is 7,000 yen per person, or 9,000 yen per two people. The 1-hour course is 13,000 yen per person, or 17,500 yen per two people. The price is a bit expensive, but it is worth it!

When you ride in a rickshaw, you can enjoy the sights from a slightly higher position. And, you can enjoy them slowly because you are just sitting. So, you do not get tired, even if you wear a kimono. Also, a blanket is provided to keep you warm in winter. Furthermore, rickshaws have a roof, so you can ride them even on rainy or snowy days.

In addition, the rickshaw man will explain many interesting things to you about Kyoto in English. So, it will surely help you have a memorable date in Kyoto. Moreover, he takes a lot of pictures at various spots that are beautiful and photogenic. I absolutely think you will love it. Please enjoy the best dating in Kyoto by rickshaw.

Rickshaw of Ebisuya
View from a rickshaw

Ebisuya in Arashiyama Access:

Address: 3-24 sagatenryu-ji bounobaabamachi ukyo-ku Kyoto Japan
Opening hours: 9:30 am – sunset (There is fluctuation by the season.)

It’s a 4 minute walk from Keifuku railway Arashiyama station, and a 7 minute walk from Hankyu Arashiyama station.

Tel: 075-864-0690

Ebisuya in Higashiyama Access:

Address: 558-9 yugyomaecho higashiyama-ku Kyoto Japan
Opening hours: 10:00 am – 18:00 pm (weekday) 10:00 am – 18:30 pm (Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays) There is fluctuation by the season.

It’s a 5 minute walk from Kyoto city bus Higashiyamayasui, and a (Ichinenzaka) 1-2 minute walk from Kyoto city bus Ginkaku-ji mae. (Ginkaku-ji bashi)

Tel: 075-533-2600

You can also make a reservation.

Arashiyama Yoshimura and Arabica Kyoto

We also recommend going to Arashiyama during your kimono wearing experience because Arashiyama is one of the many beautiful places in Kyoto. There is such a good atmosphere there, so couples can have deep long talks and enjoy a meaningful moments together. So, we highly recommend visiting Arashiyama on your date.

In Arashiyama, you will see the Togetsu-kyo bridge, which has become an iconic symbol of Arashiyama. Many movies and dramas were filmed there. Also, there is a bamboo forest that has become a famous spot in Kyoto.

In addition, there are other places that you can enjoy around Arashiyama. One such place is a soba restaurant called Yoshimura. Soba are noodles made from buckwheat flour. The restaurant is located near the Togetsu-kyo bridge, so you can enjoy eating your noodles with a good view the river and a sense of openness. You will have a great time eating soba there. When we went there, we ordered Tenzaruzen for 2019 yen. It included soba, tempura, rice, and pickles that were made in Kyoto.

View from the 2nd floor
Tenenzaruzen for 2019 yen

Yoshimura is really popular, so you might have to wait if you don’t have a reservation. You can get a reservation online, but making a phone call is more reliable than trying to reserve online.

When we went there, there were a lot of people – both Japanese and foreigners – who had already been waiting. Since we didn’t have a reservation, we had to wait for an entire hour. However, it is easy to kill some time if you have to wait because there are some shops nearby. They are some good places to pick up some souvenirs or get a cup of coffee.

There is also a famous café along the river, called Arabica. There is often a long line at this coffee shop. They have two shops in Kyoto, and one is located in Arashiyama. Their coffee is tasty for sure. Also, we recommended their lemonade, if it is hot outside.

Front of store
Their signature is “%”.

Arashiyama Yoshimura Access:

Opening hours: 11:00am~5:00pm (Off season) 10:30am~(Peak season)

It’s a 3 minute walk from Keifuku railway Arashiyama station.

English, Chinese, Korean and Taiwanese menu are available.

Arabica Kyoto Arashiyama Access:

Opening hours 8:00 – 18:00

It’s a 5 minute walk from Keifuku railway Arashiyama station.

Conclusion

Having a kimono or yukata experience with your partner must be an unforgettable memory in your life. There is no doubt that you can have an awesome time in Kyoto. Also, kimono have various patterns and colors, so maybe you can try to wear another design when you come to Kyoto again. Wouldn’t it be amazing to make your sightseeing trip to Kyoto better and create great memories by wearing a kimono or yukata with the person you love the most?

Kimono – Past and Present

by  Haruna Masuzaki, Kazuki Nakamoto and Hikari Yanagihara

Kimono is a kind of traditional Japanese garment with a very long history. Originally, the word ‘kimono’ was kurumono, which means ‘wearing thing’. It was later shortened to ‘kimono’. Kimono are often worn on special occasions, like festivals or weddings. They are often beautiful, colorful and representative of traditional Japanese culture. Kimono are instantly recognized around the world as being Japanese.  

Kimono is a kind of traditional Japanese garment with a very long history.

Kimono

Kimono Material

The material of kimono is generally silk. Some kimono are created from silk that is dyed before weaving, while some kimono are dyed after weaving. The most common are those weaved from dyed silk.

In addition to silk, other materials used are cotton, polyester, and wool. Kimono made from cotton and polyester is easy to wash. On the other hand, wool kimono are very cheap and great for the winter, but are susceptible to being eaten by worms during storage.

The material of kimono is generally silk.

Silk

When Do People Wear Kimono?

Most Japanese people wear their kimono on special occasions. However, it is also possible to wear a kimono in daily life, as fashion. This is more common amongst older people than younger people. They may wear kimono to go out to eat, to visit a museum, to seeing the cherry blossoms or autumn leaves, to go shopping downtown, and so on.  On type of kimono that is worn in during summer festivals is a yukata. At first glance, it appears just like a traditional kimono, but in fact it is very lightweight, with no inner lining. It is also very casual and festive. Both men and women wear them. June through September is the most common time to see people wearing yukata. In the old days, people put on their yukata after a summer bath, and enjoyed the coolness as they fell asleep in their yukata.

The Origin of Kimono

The kimono has a long history as a beautiful and tasteful traditional Japanese garment recognized around the word. There are several reasons why it is appreciated by so many people. One is that it grew out of harmony with Japanese life and culture. For example, it is ideally suited for the Japanese climate. There are different thicknesses for different seasons. Also, kimono come in many shapes and sizes, and can be used for many different purposes. They can also be layered, to adapt to any temperature or weather condition.

Heian period (794~1185)

Kimono came to prominence during the Heian period.

Heian kimono

Kimono came to prominence during the Heian period. During this time, a new technique was developed for making kimono that allowed makers to not worry about the wearer’s body shape. It also made the kimono easier to wear and easier to fold and store. In addition, people began to pay more attention to the color of kimono. Original colors and patterns began to emerge, and many of them were related to the various seasons and times of the year. People of the upper classes wore gorgeous kimono. Common people, on the other hand, tended to wear kimono with short sleeves. Like the traditional kimono, the yukata is said to have also originated in the Heian period. Noblemen from the Heian period used to take stream baths. Some people began to wear a garment called a yukatabira, which served to protect their skin from steam burns. Nowadays, the yukatabira is the thin cotton garment worn under the kimono. But back in those days, it was not cotton, but rather hemp that was used by most people. Cotton was more expensive than hemp. People used to walk back and forth to the bathhouse in their Yukatabira. The yukatabira eventually evolved into what we now know as the much more colorful and festive yukata.

Kamakura period (1192~1333)

During the Kamakura period, there were many wars. For this reason, the kimono was simplified to be more practical.

Muromachi period (1392~1573)

In Muromachi period, the form of what we now recognize as the contemporary kimono appeared. Dyeing skills of kimono makers made remarkable progress during this time period.

Edo period (1603~1857)

Japanese dress of the day is born in this period. This period also progress. At the time, people wear the same as present kimono.

Meiji Period (1867~1911)

During this period, Japan was heavily influenced by western cultures and industrialization. For this reason, more people started wearing western clothes. This set the tone for the current modern age, when kimono are mostly worn on special occasions.

Modern Japan

Japanese people now wear western clothes in their daily life, as it is easier, cheaper, and more practical to do so. However, this decreases their chances to wear kimono. For this reason, kimono is now reserved for special events and occasions.   Recently, kimono has started to be worn as fashion. For example, a kimono that it is easy to take off and put on has been developed.

How to Buy a Kimono

Buying a kimono is not so easy for the first time buyer. If you are one of these people, you should keep a few things in mind before you buy one.  First, if you have some Japanese friends, you should ask which shop is good. Also, you should visit a lot of shops so that you can compare a kimono you like in one shop with that of another shop. When you visit a shop, talk with the salesclerk about where you plan to wear the kimono, what kind of season you want to wear it in, and what your budget is. Then, the salesclerk will help you find a kimono that matches your look. Then you can pay for the one that looks the best on you.   Finally, you must remember that a kimono is expensive property. You should always take care of your kimono and wear it with a fresh feeling. In the case that kimono gets stained with something, you must have the stains removed in the shop. Please take good care of your precious kimono.

How to Rent a Kimono

kimono rental is a good option.

Kimono rental

For many people, buying a kimono is too expensive, especially if they only wear it once or twice. Therefore, kimono rental is a good option. There are many kimono shops in Kyoto. Most of them will rent a kimono to you all day long.   One good place to rent a kimono is the Kiyomizuzaka shop, which is only a one-minute walk from the famous Kiyomizu-dera Temple. This shop is located on the street where many souvenir stores are visited by large number of sightseers. The set rental plan at this shop is only 3,000 yen. It includes a kimono, an obi (belt), a bag, and some tabi (Japanese sandals), all in one set. Moreover, you can select from 30 different sets to suit your mood. You can try more of them on for fun. Also, you can do some sightseeing while wearing your rental kimono.

How to Put on a Kimono

In order to put on your kimono correctly, you must follow several steps. First, turn position the kimono behind your back while making sure the collar is centered. The center seam should be in the middle of the back. Second, decide the width of outer skirt. Hold the end of the kimono collars and then raise them up under the side. After that, take down the hem to just above the floor. Then wrap the right side panels first, so that the end of the right collar should be put on the left waist. Next, decide the width of before under. Wrap the left side of panels first, and the end of a collar should be put on the right waist. Next, while holding the right panel, wrap the left panel over it. Next, put on the koshihimo (waist cord), just below your navel. Then, make a ohashori, which is the fold made at the waist so that women can adjust the length of their kimono. Put both hands through arm holes under the sleeves, and smooth out any excess material, both on the front and back. The line of the fold should be straight. Finally, check how the kimono looks in the mirror.

How to Wear Make-up with Kimono

The quality and appearance of your facial skin is very important when wearing kimono. Your face looks good in a matte color, not a glossy color. This is because kimono looks best in an impersonal type of beauty. First, draw your eyebrows in a long and merry way. This is because your kimono probably has a loud pattern. Also, your eyes are the most important. Apply eyeliner on the upper eyelid to create the impression of long narrow eyes. After that, apply eye shadow using the color of a similar tone. Try not to use eyelash curlers. This will impress a person favorably. Finally, apply red lipstick to your lips. In this way, you can make sure that your appearance in a kimono is a gorgeous one.

Hairstyles Popular with Kimono

Kimono looks best when the woman wearing it has an elegant hairstyle.

Hair style

Kimono looks best when the woman wearing it has an elegant hairstyle. Yakaimaki (evening party roll hairstyle) is the most popular for kimono because it allows others to view the beautiful neck of the woman wearing the kimono. It also creates a distinctive silhouette, which is a round shape. Finally, the hairstyle truly becomes gorgeous when a hair ornament is used.

As you can see, kimono have a long tradition and history, and have been loved by Japanese people for a long time. Now, Japanese people wear western clothes in their daily life, but foreigners who come to Japan also want to try wearing kimono. Why don’t you wear Kimono?

Access to Kiyomizuzaka Shop

Take the bus bound for Kiyomizudera, Gion and Ginkakuji from Kyoto station. You should get off Gojo-zaka. Plese go up Gojo-zaka, you will see Kiyomizuzaka on the right. It is about 5 minutes.