Is there anything more “JAPAN” than a kimono? These quintessential Japanese traditional clothes dating back to at least the 8th century have now come to epitomize the Western view of Japanese tradition itself. In fact, kimono are such an integral part of traditional Japanese culture that the word “kimono” translates simply as “a thing to wear.” To get our own feel for these beautiful Japanese traditional clothes on our trip to Japan, we searched for the best place to dress up in kimono in Kyoto (or Japanese yukata, for the hot summer months)! That’s when we discovered Kyoto Kimono Rental Wargo.
- 1 Here’s our guide to renting a kimono in Kyoto, Japan!
- 1.1 The Best Place to Rent Kimono or Yukata in Kyoto
- 1.2 The Origin of these Japanese Traditional Clothes
- 1.3 Japanese Yukata vs. Kimono
- 1.4 Kyoto Kimono Rental Wargo in Japan
- 1.5 Our Yukata Rental Experience
- 1.6 How to Wear a Kimono (or How to Wear a Yukata)
- 1.7 Finishing Touches for Your Japanese Yukata or Kimono
- 1.8 Hair-styling Services
- 1.9 Like this post?
- 1.10 You Might Also Appreciate…
- 1.11 What do you love about Japanese traditional culture?
Here’s our guide to renting a kimono in Kyoto, Japan!
The Best Place to Rent Kimono or Yukata in Kyoto
With locations across Japan and a ton of types of kimono and Japanese yukata to choose from, Kimono Rental Wargo makes it remarkably easy to arrange your own Kyoto kimono rental.
And with a number of Kimono Rental Wargo locations making it possible to rent a kimono in several spots across Japan, we couldn’t resist an afternoon kimono or yukata frolic in Kyoto. Just like Seoul is the perfect place to dress up in the Korean traditional dress known as hanbok, Kyoto is the perfect place to dress up in kimono! As the capital of Japan for over 1000 years, Kyoto is filled to the brim with temples, shrines, and beautiful gardens just begging to be graced by the presence of a gorgeous traditional Japanese yukata or kimono. For our yukata rental we chose the Arashiyama location so we could be close to the famous Arashiyama Bamboo Forest.
Even in the city of Kyoto itself, Wargo has plenty of shops to rent a kimono from, making your Japanese yukata or kimono rental super convenient no matter where you are staying. Even better, their seemingly endless choice of types of kimono from easy breezy summer yukatas to antique beauties and Mamechiyo Modern designs will certainly have something for everyone. Anyone (even men and children!) could wander through those vibrant rows of silky Japanese traditional clothes and find a magnificent kimono or Japanese yukata to grace their experience of the magnificent city of Kyoto.
The Origin of these Japanese Traditional Clothes
While there are many types of kimono, the kimono that we know today came to be during the Edo period (1603-1867), with those gorgeous longer sleeves and wider belts. Since then, these style of traditional Japanese clothes have remained fundamentally unchanged. The timeless elegance and grace of each kimono embodies the traditional spirit of Japan itself.
The variety of the kimono is far and wide, with a glorious range of Japanese Kimono fabric to choose from. A general rule with kimono is that younger people tend to wear brighter and bolder colors and patterns, while older people usually wear muted colors and dull patterns. It probably comes as no surprise that men, on the other hand, usually only wear solid dark colors. We’ll save the flowery prints for you, ladies!
Japanese Yukata vs. Kimono
What’s a yukata? And what’s the difference between yukata vs. kimono?
You’ll find several different types of kimono, including the more comfortable and relaxed yukata, which Japanese men and women reserve for the summer heat in Japan. Experiencing a recent growth in popularity in Japan, yukata often make appearances at outdoor summer events such as hanabi (fireworks) and festivals. Yukata are also frequently worn at traditional Japanese inns (ryokan) or after bathing in onsen (hot springs).
For our July trip to Kyoto, Japan, yukata were far more appropriate for those sizzling summer days. Luckily Kyoto Kimono Rental Wargo carries a stunning selection of yukata in addition to its varied types of kimono.
|Check out our hotel review of the Four Seasons Kyoto!|
Kyoto Kimono Rental Wargo in Japan
If you want to rent a kimono or Japanese yukata with Kyoto Kimono Rental Wargo, you first have to make an online reservation with the date and time of your visit. You also pick your specific kimono rental plan from the five options, with prices ranging from the standard kimono plan for 2500 yen all the way up to the most elaborate Furisode Fukuro plan for 14500 yen.
Next, visit the Kyoto Kimono Rental Wargo store of your choice. It is recommended that you arrive a little earlier than your appointment time, and make sure to bring an identification document such as a passport or credit card. Don’t worry—you don’t have to bring anything else! Kyoto Kimono Rental Wargo offers everything you need to step out the door fully dressed in your beautiful kimono or yukata!
Our Yukata Rental Experience
Upon entering Kyoto Kimono Rental Wargo, we were stunned with the wide variety of colors, prints, and styles. With an extensive selection organized by price, anyone can walk in and find something that fits into their taste and budget!
Lauren fully enjoyed browsing through each of the many available yukata to choose from, and after narrowing down her choices to her favorites, we went through the men’s selection to find a pair that went well together. We fully appreciated the help and guidance of the Wargo staff in making our selections, and never once felt hurried. The entire experience went smoothly from beginning to end, thanks to the expertise of our Wargo associates.
Find more information on the Kyoto Kimono Rental Wargo rental process.
How to Wear a Kimono (or How to Wear a Yukata)
Perhaps my favorite part of renting yukata from Kyoto Kimono Rental Wargo was witnessing the art of draping and folding the yukata to achieve the gorgeous finished product! After making our final yukata selections, Lauren and I were helpfully escorted into separate male and female dressing areas. We then got dressed in the undergarments provided by Kimono Rental Wargo. Finally, the Wargo staff assisted us in wearing the yukata, artfully wrapping the yukata around our bodies with such immaculate finesse and care—it really is quite astounding to watch!
Every element of the dressing process was thoughtful and attentive—everything from the collar to the stunning obi bow in the back was placed in perfect position by our considerate Wargo assistants. As this was our first time wearing yukata, we were forever grateful for the skill of the Wargo staff in showing us how to wear a kimono or yukata, and the end result was exactly what we had hoped for.
Our kimono fitting took about 30 minutes to ensure that it was fitted correctly, and not too tightly or rushed. After our Japanese yukata or kimono fitting, we were reeady to put the finishing touches onto the look.
Finishing Touches for Your Japanese Yukata or Kimono
After finalizing the dressing of the yukata, Lauren was then able to pick out beautiful accessories, such as the ornamental kanazashi hairpin, purse, and geta sandals (the accessories are included in the price, with premium options available at an extra charge). The wide variety of options made it easy to find something that would work perfectly with the yukata and obi that we chose.
After carefully browsing through each option, Lauren finally chose her favorite purse and hair ornaments. We had also reserved the Japanese parasol, or wagasa to complete the look—it turned out to be Lauren’s favorite accessory for taking photographs in the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest, and was very helpful for shielding against the heat of the summer sun!
Once all of Lauren’s yukata selections had been chosen, a Wargo specialist got to work styling Lauren’s hair—a very welcome service, as we had been rushing all morning and Lauren hadn’t had any time to do her hair herself! Within a few short minutes, Lauren’s hair was braided and pinned to perfection, finished with her carefully chosen hair ornament.
With Japanese traditional clothes representing such an important part of Japanese culture, renting a kimono or yukata during your trip to Japan is the perfect travel experience! Kyoto Kimono Rental Wargo makes the renting of a kimono or yukata easier than ever, and in less than an hour, we were styled, dressed to perfection, and ready to wander around Kyoto in our yukata! Kyoto Kimono Rental Wargo has professional photography setups in their stores as well. If you give them permission to post your pictures on their social media channels, you’ll receive some professional shots for free. Either way, you’ll enjoy exploring the beautiful sights of Japan and taking your own photographs wearing kimono or yukata at your own speed for a Japan travel memory you will certainly never forget!
Disclosure: This post is a collaboration with Kyoto Kimono Rental Wargo, but as always, all opinions are very much our own!
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What do you love about Japanese traditional culture?
Tell us in a comment below!