Kimono rental is one of the experiences definitely worth trying in Japan. Renting a kimono in Japan is an incredible experience. I loved it so much that I’ve tried it thrice in different regions of Japan. For a budget traveler like me, it’s not a small sum to pay, but I do think its worth it. I take a million photos and explore as much as I can so I can milk a kimono rental’s worth of photos and experiences.
I’ve put together a few tips on getting the best deal and making the most of my kimono rental. Based on my experience, I got my money’s worth by following these tips.
Research kimono rental places online
Vasara, Klook, etc. There are countless kimono rental places around Japan. Some have online reservations and some only accept walk-ins. You can check out the best deals they have during the period and see if they accept cash or credit card. You can also check out each of the rental place’s FAQs so you can see what to watch out for like cash deposits as insurance. Take note of where they are located. The kimono rental may be in a located in a place that’s inaccessible or far from you and your itinerary that day, reducing the hours you can enjoy the kimono because of time consuming commute.
Bring your own headpiece and accessorize accordingly
I bring my Divisoria-bought floral headpiece whenever I go to Japan for this occasion. Additional fees for an upgraded hairstyle or headpiece can go as high as ¥1500. By bringing your own accessories, you’re sure to save some money and also add a unique individual flare to your outfit.
On the subject of saving more, during colder seasons, make sure to wear thermal undergarments. Thermal tops should have a lower back cuts since kimonos show off a lot of your nape and upper back and showing your thermal wear underneath can look unpleasant. Renting thermal wear per piece can cost around ¥500 and above.
Reserve early, Return Latest
Some kimono rentals have options like an hour’s worth of wearing the kimono. I don’t advise that since you can only do so much for an hour.
Maximize the time you’re wearing your kimono by getting an early slot, as early as you can. I recommend getting to the store by their published opening time. japan is a stickler for schedules so being early is a virtue. Most kimono rentals also require you to be back at a certain time, no matter what time you get your kimono put on. By having an earlier time you put it on, you get more hours. Voila! Sulit!
Plan your Itinerary around the Kimono Rental
Plan an itinerary with at least one Shinto shrine, one subway ride, and one trendy sidewalk like Harajuku. With an itinerary that includes all three, you’re sure to get photos with a cityscape, a cultural/traditional shot, and quite an edgy one as well. Props to you if you’re in one of the seasons that the foliage and or season is picture worthy e.g. plum season, sakura season, peak of autumn leaves. Make sure to leave plenty of time to return your kimono.
Be aware of your surroundings
Keep in mind that getting your rental dirty could cost you cleaning fees. The loose sleeves and long length are magnets for dirt and stains. Some rentals offer cleaning insurance for a minimal amount. I tend to get those just in case. The cleaning fee without insurance is horrendously high.
I hope you also enjoy your kimono rental experience. Send me pictures via Instagram or the comment box below. I’d love to see yours!