Top 3 Unique Kimono Rental Shops and Experiences in Tokyo
Wearing a kimono when visiting Tokyo may not only be one of the best ways to experience Japan's unique culture, but also the perfect chance to further appreciate all the charming traditional areas that the Japanese capital has to offer. As expected with Tokyo you may get lost in the huge number of options available when it comes to kimono rental, but fret not! In this article, we will introduce the top 3 Tokyo kimono rental experiences (with English-speaking staff), including their prices, tricks to get cheaper rental fees, how to easily book your appointment, and details about their unique services.
Aug 05 2020 (Dec 08 2020)
Where to Go for a Kimono Rental Experience in Tokyo
Enjoying the traditional side of Japan is possible even when visiting the modern city of Tokyo. In fact, Tokyo houses many charming traditional nooks that are perfect for exploring while wearing a kimono. Hopping into a kimono rental in Tokyo will allow you not only to feel the grace of the Japanese national dress but also to discover more about the traditions of the capital while taking some truly Japanese photos at its historic landmarks. It's no surprise, then, that the majority of Tokyo's kimono rental shops can be found in the most traditional areas of the city (even if you are sure to find some in modern areas such as Shibuya and Harajuku as well).
The record for the highest number of kimono rental shops goes to Asakusa, Tokyo's iconic traditional neighborhood. Thanks to its many historic buildings and old-time-Japan atmosphere, Asakusa is a great place to rent a kimono in Tokyo. If you chose a kimono rental shop in this area you will in fact have easy access to some of Tokyo's most prominent sightseeing spots, such as Tokyo Sky Tree, Senso-ji Temple (Tokyo's most important temple), and many more. For more about what the area has to offer, see our ultimate travel guide of Asakusa.
Less crowded but equally beautiful, the Yanesen is another great place for a kimono rental experience in Tokyo. Consisting of three traditional neighborhoods, you will have plenty of choices to enjoy an atmospheric Tokyo full of shrines, temples, and old wooden traditional buildings, ready to be explored while wearing a beautiful kimono. If you want to know more about this retro area of Tokyo and why you should rent your kimono here, check out our 20 picks for where to go in the Yanesen.
What Does the Service at a Kimono Rental Shop in Tokyo Include?
The basic service of a kimono rental experience in Tokyo usually includes kimono dressing and hairstyling. All the accessories, including bags, shoes, and kimono undergarments, are provided by the shop and included in the price. So, if you are wondering what to wear under a rental kimono, fret not! You just need to show up at the shop and they will have everything prepared for you! The only exception may be in the case that you want to rent a "wagasa" (Japanese traditional umbrella) to spice up your photos, as the majority of kimono rental shops in Tokyo charge a separate but inexpensive fee for it (around 500 yen).
Speaking of photos, if you want to be sure to make some great memories out of your kimono-wearing experience, note that many kimono rental shops in Tokyo also offer a photography service by professional photographers. This requires a separate fee but is sure to capture the best moments of your incredible experience.
Finally, you may be afraid of not being able to communicate with the staff at the shop, but the three best kimono rental experiences in Tokyo we selected for this article, not only have English-speaking staff that can follow you throughout the experience, but also have English websites or take bookings through Instagram, meaning you won't have to worry about the language barrier.
*We suggest always booking in advance, especially during busy periods such as the cherry blossom season.
How Much Is It to Rent a Kimono in Tokyo?
The cost for a kimono rental in Tokyo depends on the shop, with the price for simpler kimono starting at around 4000 yen. Rental fees also vary depending on the type of kimono, with more formal kimono renting for higher prices. Thus, "furisode" kimono (long-sleeved kimono used for ceremonies) are the most expensive, while "yukata" (traditional and casual summer garments) are the most budget-friendly. If you want to learn more about the different types of kimono out there, check out our article on 10 Different Types of Kimono for Women.
Another point to consider, which may change the final cost, is the number of services included. Some kimono rental experiences, for example, not only provide dressing and hairstyling but also offer lectures on kimono history and culture. Finally, if the rental shop is a specialized one offering specific types of kimono that you can't find anywhere else (such as kawaii-fashion-inspired kimono or vintage kimono) the price will usually be higher.
So, where can you rent a cheap kimono in Tokyo and have the best possible experience? Of course, you could just roam the streets of the above-mentioned traditional neighborhoods, compare the prices, and pick the kimono rental shop that suits you the best. Or, you can just keep reading, because we selected (and tried) three top kimono rental services in Tokyo that have great prices, English speaking staff, and unique kimono that will make for an unforgettable experience.
The 3 Best Kimono Rental Shops and Experiences in Tokyo
Itten Kimono Soan: Authentic Vintage Kimono Rental in the Most Vintage Neighborhood of Tokyo
Itten Kimono Soan is a kimono rental shop located in one of the most vintage areas of Tokyo, the Yanesen. This area is abundant with gorgeous historic buildings, ancient wooden houses, and centuries-old shrines and temples. Inspired by its picturesque surroundings, Itten Kimon Soan not only offers modern kimono rental but also focuses on providing a vast selection of vintage kimono from the Taisho Period (1912-1926) and early Showa Period (1926-1989).
With bright colors and funky patterns, vintage kimono are all about the fun! You'll hardly find such unique kimono for rental anywhere else in Tokyo or even in Japan, so be sure not to miss the chance to wear a piece of Japanese history. Itten Kimono Soan's friendly staff will help you go back in time and perfectly blend into the surrounding vintage atmosphere of the Yanesen.
If you want to take this vintage experience to the max, select an outfit with kimono and hakama (a traditional Japanese trouser-skirt that was in fashion at the beginning of the 20th century) and ask for their vintage photography experience. The photos made with the collodion process will be printed on glass in black and white, exactly like traditional Japanese glass photos were.
InKimono: Learn about Kimono History and Culture from a Professional Kimono Stylist
Stasia, a professional street and portrait photographer and certified kimono teacher and stylist, graduated from the top school for kimono dressing in Tokyo and is the mind behind InKimono kimono rental experience. InKimono is no normal kimono rental shop, though, but rather a 360-degree experience of everything about the Japanese traditional dress.
Stasia offers personalized styling, using selected items and choosing each kimono outfit based on the customer's style, favorite colors, and any requests they may have. The kimono dressing experience is enriched by the explanations of each step, including the meaning behind each item and detailed information on kimono history and culture. By knowing what you are wearing and its origins, you'll be able to get even closer to Japanese culture.
In addition, thanks to Stasia's photography skills, InKimono can also provide high-quality portrait photos, through which you can relive this incredible kimono experience over and over again.
Yae Kimono Rental: Wear a Kimono in the Heart of Asakusa
Located right in the center of Asakusa, only a 6-minute walk from Sensoji Temple and a 4-minute walk from Asakusa Station, no other shop can beat Yae Kimono Rental when it comes to convenience. This kimono rental shop located in the heart of traditional Tokyo offers a great selection of colorful modern kimono of all types. The shop has everything from simple yukata to elegant furisode, both for women and men, with hairstyling included in the rental fee.
Yae Kimono Rental makes for a great Tokyo kimono rental experience for couples, thanks to its fast service and budget-friendly prices you won't have to worry to break the bank, and you can save up even more if you decide to enjoy the kimono wearing with a group of friends and make use of the group discount.
Pick out and wear your favorite kimono, then head out to explore the neighborhood. Yae Kimono Rental is the perfect starting point if you want to enjoy strolling around Asakusa's historic nooks, try a rickshaw experience, or taste all the yummy sweets and street food available at the shops in Nakamise Shopping Street.
Kimono Rental in Tokyo: Ready to Discover the Charm of Old Japan?
Are you ready to enjoy the beauty of traditional Japan while wearing your kimono rental in Tokyo? Whether you decide to explore Asakusa in kimono, wear a real vintage garment or learn all the details and incredible history of the Japanese traditional dress, you can't go wrong with any of these three great Tokyo kimono rental experiences. Feel the grace of Japanese culture and create great memories of your travel in Japan that you are never going to forget!
If you are looking for a great rental kimono shop in Kyoto instead, check out our article about 10 Places in Kyoto to Play Dress Up in Traditional Kimono. If you want to learn more about kimono check out our article on Yukata vs Kimono, The Secret Culture Behind The Japanese National Dress.
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The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.