Japan-aholic

A blog about culture and love in Japan

The Day I Tried On a Kimono

25 Comments

It took me about a year to plan everything out for my trip to Japan in 2013. Although I didn’t need that much preparation, it gave me time to choose my host families carefully. While I was searching for things to do in order to plan my itinerary, I remember looking at pictures of women wearing a kimono, the luxurious Japanese traditional clothing.I’ve always thought kimono were beautiful. So before coming to Japan, I told myself “I want to try one”.

“Really?”, answered my then-friend, now-boyfriend Hitomi, when I told him about it at the beginning of my trip.

“I think it would suit you”, he said.

Then, slowly but surely, my trip passed and I kind of abandonned the idea.

I didn’t know where to go to try on this type of clothing, I couldn’t speaking good Japanese, and I knew it was very expensive if you wanted to buy a kimono.

But then one day, one week before I had to go back in Canada, Hitomi said “We are going somewhere today”.
“Where?”, I asked.
“It’s a surprise”, he said, smiling.

And what a surprise it was.

jasmine_kimono_2.jpg

There’s some pictures that were taken with a cellphone, so I’m sorry for the bad quality!

He remembered my wish to try on a kimono and had contacted two sweet women in charge of a kimono and yukata shop to arrange a meeting. They took great care of us; they let us choose our kimono (but I had to choose in the “large” area, since I’m a bit tall for a girl), and then made my hair and dressed me up. I was glad that Hitomi was not only there, but was also going to wear the male version of kimono with me. I was feeling a bit shy. I remember thinking “It looks like we’re going to marry or something” when I first saw him in a kimono by my side.

But it was awesome.

wpid-img_20140416_012922.jpg

Getting dressed

There are many layers in a kimono. I had to put undergarments before the women arranged it to fit my body. It was tight. Like, really tight. When they put on the obi, which is the wide sash that they placed just under the breasts, I had to stand straight. It actually helped me walking gracefully with a straight back — I just couldn’t bend it. They also gave us basket bags (kinchaku) to replace our own handbags, and tabi, the split-toe socks, along with flat sandals called kōri. I kind of have long feet, so the sandals were slightly too small for me. In Japan, when I wanted to buy shoes, I had to go in the Large or XL area. Japanese girls sure have small feet!

kimono_back_2.jpg

(The beige thing behind my back is the “obi”)

 

Walking with a kimono

I’m the kind of girl who does very long steps when walking. But with a kimono, that’s just impossible. You got to make really tiny steps, or else you’ll trip and fall (or break something). You have to stand straight and be elegant. In Japan, that means being graceful and moving quietly without making a sound with your footsteps.

For men, the kimono is really loose and looks comfortable, so you don’t have to take care of making small steps (lucky you!).

At the Kanazawa station

Visiting Kanazawa

What’s fun with this kimono place is that it was a rental; we could wear ours all day until 19:00. So after we got all dressed up, the two women took pictures of us, and Hitomi and I went off seeing the “Seisonkaku Villa” and the gardens around it along with the Kanazawa Castle park on the other side of the street.

wpid-img_20140426_021025.jpg

It was truly beautiful. Japanese architecture and gardens are really breathtaking. If you have the chance to stop by Kanazawa, I highly recommend going to those gardens!

Technical aspects of that day

Enough of the lovey-dovey part! Here’s the informations you might want to know.

What’s the name of the kimono shop?: it’s 金沢きもの花恋 (Kanazawa Kimono Karen). You can check out the access if you want to go there. It’s located in Ishikawa prefecture. They also have a blog for more pictures of people wearing their kimono and yukata with a cute story of each customers (in Japanese).

How much did it cost?: since Hitomi paid everything for me (isn’t he the sweetest?), I didn’t know how much it cost until today — for the sake of this blogpost, I had to know! If you go on their website, it says that you can wear a kimono during one day (until 19:00 PM) for 4,500 yen (~50$CAN). I realized it’s kind of expensive, but then again, you won’t wear a kimono everyday of your life — and get pampered by sweet women at the same time.

As I said at the beginning of this post, they also did my hair. I guess it enters in the price with the kimono (4,500 yen). It was really cute! Depending if you have long or short hair, they will do the updo that is the most suitable for your hair. One of the women chose an updo and showed me a picture asking if I agreed with her. It was pretty neat.

hair_kimono.jpg

Close up on the hair

What if I don’t speak Japanese?: I highly doubt they can speak English. I was lucky to have Hitomi with me, so he was doing all the talking. They asked me some questions in Japanese that I was able to answer, but they never talked to me in English. So I suggest being able to speak at least a basic level of Japanese (or go with a handsome Japanese man to help you out!).

Additional information: They also have yukata, which is the summer version of a kimono, available during June, July and August.

Did you ever wear a kimono or a yukata? Where did you go and how much did it cost you?

Advertisements

Author: Jasmine

Jasmine is a 20-something years old French-Canadian student and part-time blogger who loves traveling, drawing, listening to (all kind of) music and eating (everything). To achieve one of her biggest dream, she went in Japan for two months and a half as a tourist in 2013. She was an exchange student at Daito Bunka University in Saitama (near Tokyo) during the year 2014 - 2015. She is now studying to eventually become a nurse back in Canada, so she lacks time to write about Japan. You can still read all her posts on her blog, since she'll let them there for you to enjoy :)

25 thoughts on “The Day I Tried On a Kimono

  1. You look beautiful! You two are adorable together 🙂

    Just came across your blog yesterday and I can’t stop reading ❤

    Like

  2. You look beautiful and you both look amazing dressed up together! I’ve always wanted to wear a kimono too! ♥

    Like

  3. I every time spent my half an hour to read this weblog’s articles
    every day along with a mug of coffee.

    Like

  4. Wow, the kimono suits you so well! And these flowers in your hair are so gorgeous. My mom said she once tried to put me in a kimono when I was 3, but I totally refused that…Feeling really sorry for that 🙂

    Like

  5. Your style is unique in comparison to other folks I
    have read stuff from. Thanks for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I
    will just book mark this web site.

    Like

  6. You’re stunning. 🙂

    Like

  7. I couldn’t reply to your earlier reply.
    No, I don’t think your post is strange. In the English-speaking world, “kimono” means “wafuku,” and your readers are English (and French) speakers/readers. Since you are a Japanese language learner, I just wanted you to know a little more details.
    However you call them, you are breathtakingly beautiful in them! 🙂

    Like

  8. Wow, you look so cute! That’s such a nice thing to do 🙂

    Gha. I really want to wear a Kimono now. So pretty.

    Like

  9. You look divine!
    So does Hitomi-kun! I’ve never tried haori-hakama (men’s kimono), so I’m kinda jealous 🙂
    Kanazawa is a great city to stroll in kimono, too–the castle, the famous Kenrokuen park, and in some parts of the city are there old-fashioned houses. Picture perfect!

    Like

    • Aah so this is how we call it! Thanks!
      Yes I really liked Kanazawa! I had a great time 🙂
      Thank you so much~

      Like

      • Just to clarify, a catch-all term for “Japanese-style clothing” is wafuku (和服) for both women and men, as opposed to yofuku (洋服), western-style clothing. When people say “kimono (着物),” it usually means women’s wafuku. “Haori (羽織)” is the top half of men’s wafuku (“haoru” is a verb meaning “lightly/casually put a piece of clothing on top of an inner piece” [e.g., light jacket]), and “hakama (袴)” means the wafuku bottoms. You may have seen female (usually college) students wearing hakama, too, for an inauguration or commencement (graduation) ceremony, like this (http://tokyoroomfinder.blogspot.com/2012/02/what-is-hakama.html).

        Like

  10. Wow. you both look amazing. The clothes are incredibly beautiful and your the way the flowers were placed in your hair looks lovely. I would never have wanted to give it back! You definitely need to purchase one as you pull off wearing a kimono so well 🙂

    Like

    • Thank you~
      I wanted to keep it too!
      Buying a kimono is sooo expensive D: I don’t think I’ll be able to buy one someday!
      Did you ever wear Nepali traditional clothes?

      Like

      • I am sure you will. What do the brides wear? 😉
        Hmm most traditional clothes is like a saree because of my boyfriend’s caste. But other castes have cool traditional clothes 🙂

        Like

        • In Japan, I think they have three choices when it comes to marriage; they can either have a Shinto ceremony, a Buddhist ceremony or a Christian ceremony. With Shinto and Buddhist, I think the bride wears a kimono, but not in the Christian ceremony (where they wear “modern” dresses like in the West).
          So I guess we’ll see if we marry someday 🙂
          The saree looks beautiful 😀

          Like

  11. You look stunning Jasmine! I wish they had something like this in Canada!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s