5 Best Places to Rent a Kimono in Kyoto for a Photoshoot

best kimono rental kyoto

Konnichiwa! During our recent trip to Kyoto I noticed lots of people dressed up in Kimonos or Yukatas (learn the difference here) as they were sightseeing at Temples and Shrines like Fushimi Inari and other places. Many of them were posing for professional photos. I thought this was an excellent idea and began my research to seek out the best. If you’re planning a trip to Kyoto and want to experience the magic of wearing a kimono, I’ve compiled a list of the top 5 places to rent a kimono for a photoshoot. Each of these locations offers a unique experience, and I’m excited to share my insights with you. When in Kyoto, I recommend staying a traditional Ryokan to round out the experience!

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Why rent a Kimono?

Wearing a kimono in Kyoto is a dream for many travelers seeking to immerse themselves in the timeless beauty and rich cultural heritage of Japan. Kyoto, with its ancient temples, traditional teahouses, and picturesque landscapes, provides the perfect backdrop for a truly authentic kimono experience. Here are a few compelling reasons why people would want to wear a kimono in Kyoto:

1. Embrace Japanese Tradition: Kyoto, once the imperial capital of Japan, is a city deeply rooted in history and tradition. By donning a kimono, visitors have the opportunity to step into the past and become a part of Japan’s cultural heritage. The elegant and graceful attire reflects centuries of craftsmanship and holds significant symbolism in Japanese society, making it a unique way to connect with the country’s traditions.

2. Immersive Cultural Experience: Kyoto’s kimono rental services not only provide visitors with a beautiful garment but also offer a holistic cultural experience. The process of choosing a kimono, being dressed by experienced staff, and learning about the intricacies of tying the obi (sash) can be both fascinating and enriching. As you walk through Kyoto’s historic streets and iconic landmarks, you’ll feel a deep sense of appreciation for the city’s past and present.

3. Picturesque Photo Opportunities: Kyoto’s charm lies in its breathtaking scenery, which harmonizes perfectly with the elegance of the kimono. Wearing this traditional attire opens up endless photo opportunities against the backdrop of stunning temples, tranquil gardens, and enchanting bamboo groves. The photos captured during your kimono photoshoot will serve as cherished mementos of your time in Kyoto, forever encapsulating the essence of this beautiful city.

4. Enhance the Travel Experience: While visiting Kyoto is a captivating experience on its own, wearing a kimono elevates the journey to a whole new level of authenticity. Whether you’re exploring the iconic Fushimi Inari Taisha, strolling through the geisha district of Gion, or visiting the majestic Kiyomizu Temple, the kimono seamlessly blends with the city’s ambiance, making every moment feel like a glimpse into Kyoto’s storied past.

5. Capture Timeless Memories: The kimono is not merely a piece of clothing; it’s a work of art that embodies Japan’s aesthetics and cultural identity. By wearing a kimono in Kyoto, you become part of a narrative that transcends time and creates lasting memories. The experience of walking in the footsteps of emperors, geisha, and samurai adds a touch of magic to your journey, allowing you to leave Kyoto with a profound appreciation for its rich heritage.

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Things to Consider When Selecting a Kimono Rental

When renting a kimono, several key factors contribute to ensuring a delightful and authentic experience. To make the most of your kimono rental in Kyoto, consider the following aspects:

1. Wide Selection of Kimono Styles: Look for a rental place that offers a diverse selection of kimono styles to choose from. Kyoto is rich in traditional culture, and each type of kimono holds its unique charm. Whether you prefer vibrant colors, intricate patterns, or classic designs, having a variety of options allows you to find a kimono that resonates with your personal style and preferences.

2. Inclusive Rental Package: A comprehensive kimono rental package should include not only the kimono itself but also essential accessories such as an obi (sash), undergarments, tabi socks, and sandals. These items are essential for creating a complete and authentic kimono ensemble. Check that the rental package covers all necessary elements, ensuring that you have everything you need to fully embrace the kimono experience.

3. Knowledgeable and Friendly Staff: Friendly and knowledgeable staff can significantly enhance your kimono rental experience. Seek out a rental place with staff who are well-versed in kimono dressing techniques and can provide assistance throughout the process. They can help you choose the right kimono style, offer insights into kimono traditions, and ensure that your kimono fits comfortably and looks impeccable.

4. Transparency on Rental Prices and Duration: Before finalizing your kimono rental, it’s essential to have a clear understanding of the rental prices and duration. Check for any additional costs or optional services, such as tea ceremonies or professional photoshoots. Knowing the rental period and costs upfront allows you to plan your schedule accordingly and avoid any surprises later on.

5. Authenticity and Cultural Respect: Look for kimono rental places that prioritize authenticity and cultural respect. Wearing a kimono is a significant cultural experience, and it’s essential to choose a rental service that upholds traditional customs and practices. Ensure that the rental staff are attentive to cultural etiquette and that they guide you on how to wear the kimono properly and respectfully.

6. Comfort and Fit: Comfort is crucial when wearing a kimono, especially if you plan to explore Kyoto’s attractions for several hours. Choose a rental place that prioritizes comfortable and well-fitted kimonos. The right fit ensures you can move freely and confidently while wearing the kimono, allowing you to fully enjoy your time in this beautiful traditional attire.

If you are considering purchasing a kimono or what to know more about picking out a kimono check this article.

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What are the components of a Kimono?

Understanding the relevant vocabulary associated with a kimono rental will help you navigate the process more effectively and appreciate the nuances of this traditional attire. Here are some key terms commonly used in the context of kimono rental:

  • Obi (帯): The obi is a wide sash that is wrapped around the waist and tied at the back to secure the kimono. It plays a crucial role in defining the overall look of the kimono and comes in various styles, including wide and elaborate obi for formal occasions and simpler obi for casual wear.
  • Geta (下駄): Geta are traditional Japanese wooden sandals with elevated platforms. They have two wooden blocks beneath the sole, separated by two supporting bars. Geta are worn with traditional kimono and yukata to lift the wearer’s feet above the ground, preventing the kimono from dragging on the floor.
  • Tabi (足袋): Tabi are traditional Japanese socks with a separation between the big toe and other toes. They are worn with geta and certain types of traditional footwear. Tabi socks help maintain balance and provide comfort when wearing geta or other similar shoes.
  • Haori (羽織): The haori is a traditional Japanese jacket or coat worn over the kimono. It is often worn during cooler weather or as an extra layer for formal occasions. Haori come in various designs and colors, complementing the kimono’s overall look.
  • Himo (紐): Himo are cords or ties used to fasten the kimono and obi securely. They come in different lengths and styles, and their proper tying is essential for a well-dressed kimono ensemble.
  • Kanzashi (簪): Kanzashi are decorative hair ornaments worn with the kimono, especially by women. They come in various shapes and designs, often made from metal, wood, or fabric.

Best Overall Kimono Rental Kyoto

Kimono Rental Yumeyakata

Kimono Rental Yumeyakata

Location: Kimono Rental Yumeyakata has multiple locations throughout Kyoto, but their main store is situated near the popular Kiyomizu Temple.

Rental Inclusions: Kimono Rental Yumeyakata offers an extensive package that includes a beautiful kimono, obi (sash), undergarments, tabi socks, sandals, and a drawstring bag to store your personal belongings.

Rental Price Options: They provide several rental plans, ranging from standard options to premium packages. Prices typically start from 3,500 yen and can go up to 12,000 yen, depending on the level of sophistication and the accessories you choose.

Duration of Rental: The standard rental period is for 4 hours, which gives you ample time to explore the surrounding attractions, such as Kiyomizu Temple and Sannenzaka.

Photoshoot Availability: Kimono Rental Yumeyakata offers professional photo shoot services at an additional cost. Their skilled photographers know the best angles and locations to capture your kimono experience against the backdrop of Kyoto’s scenic beauty.

Additional Information: The staff at Kimono Rental Yumeyakata are well-versed in various languages, making it easy for international visitors to communicate and feel at ease during the rental process.

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Best Kimono Rental for Photoshoot in Kyoto

Yumeyakata Photo Studio

Kimono Rental Yumeyakata

Rental Inclusions: Yumeyakata Photo Studio provides a comprehensive package, which includes a kimono, obi, undergarments, tabi socks, sandals, and a complimentary hairstyling session to complete your authentic look.

Rental Price Options: Prices here range from 4,500 yen to 10,000 yen, depending on the style of kimono and the level of accessories you choose.

Duration of Rental: The standard rental period is 4 hours, giving you ample time to explore the stunning torii gates of Fushimi Inari and capture exquisite photos.

Photoshoot Availability: Yumeyakata Photo Studio offers professional photoshoot services in their studio or at Fushimi Inari Taisha. Their photographers are skilled at capturing your best moments, ensuring you take home cherished memories.

Additional Information: Reservations are highly recommended, especially during peak tourist seasons. Yumeyakata Photo Studio offers a seamless online reservation system, making it easy to secure your preferred date and time in advance.

Best Kimono Rental Selection Kyoto

Kyoto Kimono Rental Wargo

kyoto kimono rental

Location: Situated near the picturesque Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, Kyoto Kimono Rental Wargo offers a truly enchanting experience.

Rental Inclusions: The rental package at Kyoto Kimono Rental Wargo includes a kimono, obi, undergarments, tabi socks, and sandals. They also provide a complimentary hairstyling session and a simple photoshoot.

Rental Price Options: Prices start from 3,240 yen and can go up to 8,100 yen, depending on the type of kimono and additional accessories.

Duration of Rental: You can enjoy the kimono experience for 3 hours, providing you with ample time to explore the bamboo grove and nearby attractions.

Photoshoot Availability: While a simple photoshoot is included in the rental package, Kyoto Kimono Rental Wargo offers professional photoshoot options at an extra cost. These photoshoots take place in their studio or amidst the enchanting bamboo groves.

Additional Information: Kyoto Kimono Rental Wargo offers a wide selection of kimono styles, catering to various tastes and preferences. Their friendly staff members are attentive and will ensure your kimono fits perfectly, guaranteeing a comfortable and authentic experience.

Best Budget Kimono Rental Kyoto

Okamoto Kimono Rental

okamoto Kimono

Location: Okamoto Kimono Rental is conveniently located in the heart of Gion, Kyoto’s historic geisha district.

Rental Inclusions: The rental package includes a kimono, obi, undergarments, tabi socks, and sandals. Additionally, they provide a small bag to store your belongings.

Rental Price Options: Prices for kimono rental at Okamoto Kimono Rental start from 3,000 yen and can go up to 10,000 yen, depending on the kimono’s quality and intricacy.

Duration of Rental: The standard rental period is 3 to 4 hours, giving you ample time to immerse yourself in the traditional charm of Gion.

Photoshoot Availability: While Okamoto Kimono Rental does not offer professional photoshoot services, the beauty of Gion’s historic streets and teahouses provides an excellent backdrop for candid and amateur photography.

Additional Information: Okamoto Kimono Rental is renowned for its attentive service and helpful staff, who will ensure you have a seamless experience from the moment you choose your kimono to the moment you return it.

Best Kimono Rental in Kyoto with Tea Ceremony

Maikoya

kimono-tea-kyoto

Location: Situated near Sanjo station, Maikoya offers an authentic cultural experience in the heart of Kyoto.

Rental Inclusions: Maikoya’s kimono rental package includes a meticulously crafted kimono, an elegant obi, comfortable undergarments, traditional tabi socks, and stylish sandals to complete your authentic look. Moreover, Maikoya goes beyond just providing a kimono; they also offer a traditional tea ceremony experience as part of the package.

Rental Price Options: Prices for kimono rental at Maikoya start from 4,500 yen and can go up to 10,000 yen, depending on the type of kimono and the level of tea ceremony experience you desire. The varying price options ensure that you can find a package that suits both your budget and preferences.

Duration of Rental: The standard kimono rental period at Maikoya is 4 hours, allowing you ample time to explore the serene surroundings of Kinkaku-ji and fully immerse yourself in the tranquility of this iconic temple.

Photoshoot Availability: While Maikoya does not provide professional photoshoot services, the serene and picturesque setting of Kinkaku-ji provides an excellent backdrop for capturing breathtaking photos during your kimono experience. Don’t forget to bring along your camera or smartphone to capture cherished memories in this enchanting setting.

Additional Information: At Maikoya, you can enjoy the best of both worlds—a traditional tea ceremony and the beauty of wearing a kimono. The experienced staff at Maikoya will guide you through the tea ceremony process, providing insights into this ancient Japanese tradition and making your kimono experience even more memorable.

Tips for Your Kimono Photoshoot

Before you head out to rent a kimono and capture stunning photos, here are a few tips to ensure your experience is as memorable as possible:

  • Plan Ahead: While some kimono rental places allow walk-ins, it’s always a good idea to make a reservation, especially if you have a specific date and time in mind. This ensures that your preferred kimono and accessories are available, and it helps avoid potential waiting times.
  • Choose Your Location Wisely: Consider the backdrop you desire for your photoshoot. Each kimono rental location mentioned in this guide is situated near a famous Kyoto attraction, giving you a wonderful opportunity to blend traditional culture with iconic landmarks.
  • Time Your Photoshoot: Kyoto’s popular tourist spots can get crowded during peak hours, making it challenging to capture pristine photos. Try to schedule your photoshoot early in the morning or closer to closing time for a more peaceful and intimate experience.
  • Embrace the Kimono Experience: Wearing a kimono is not just about the aesthetics; it’s also about the grace and poise associated with this traditional attire. Pay attention to the way you walk, stand, and sit, and embrace the elegance of the kimono.
  • Consider a Tea Ceremony: If you opt for Kimono Tea Ceremony Ren, take advantage of the opportunity to participate in a traditional tea ceremony. It’s an enriching experience that complements the kimono rental perfectly.
  • Capture Candid Moments: While professional photoshoots can produce stunning images, don’t forget to capture candid moments too. The candid shots often portray the genuine joy and excitement of the experience.
  • Respect Cultural Etiquette: Remember that wearing a kimono is a cultural experience rooted in Japanese traditions. Show respect for the culture by being mindful of your actions and language.

Summing it Up

Choosing the right place to rent a kimono for your photoshoot in Kyoto can make all the difference in creating a memorable and authentic experience. Whether you opt for the enchanting streets of Gion, the iconic Fushimi Inari, or the picturesque Kiyomizu Temple, each location offers a unique ambiance that perfectly complements the charm of wearing a kimono. Remember to book in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons, and consider the rental price options that fit your budget.

As you embark on this cultural journey through Kyoto, don’t forget to fully embrace the opportunity to immerse yourself in the rich traditions and history of Japan. Each of the top 5 kimono rental places in Kyoto offers something special, and I hope this guide has helped you make an informed decision for your upcoming photoshoot.

In conclusion, renting a kimono in Kyoto for a photoshoot is a wonderful way to create lasting memories and experience the timeless beauty of Japanese culture. Each of the top 5 kimono rental places mentioned in this guide offers a unique experience, allowing you to choose the one that best aligns with your preferences and interests.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. Is it necessary to make a reservation in advance for kimono rental in Kyoto? – While some kimono rental places in Kyoto may accept walk-ins, it is highly recommended to make a reservation in advance, especially if you have a specific date and time in mind. Reserving ahead ensures that your preferred kimono style and accessories are available and minimizes waiting times.

2. Can I choose the location for my kimono photoshoot in Kyoto? – Yes, you can choose the location for your kimono photoshoot in Kyoto. Many kimono rental places are strategically located near famous landmarks such as Kiyomizu Temple, Fushimi Inari, and Gion. You can explore the surroundings and choose the backdrop that appeals to you the most.

3. How long does the kimono rental typically last? – The standard kimono rental duration in Kyoto is around 3 to 4 hours. This time frame allows you to comfortably explore nearby attractions and capture beautiful photos. Some rental places may offer extended rental options for an additional fee.

4. Can I wear the kimono during a tea ceremony? – Yes, some kimono rental places, such as Kimono Tea Ceremony Ren, offer the opportunity to participate in a traditional tea ceremony while wearing a kimono. It’s a unique experience that allows you to fully immerse yourself in Japanese culture.

5. Are there any restrictions or rules while wearing a kimono in Kyoto? – Yes, there are a few rules and etiquettes to follow while wearing a kimono in Kyoto. For example, avoid dragging the hem of the kimono on the ground to keep it clean and respect cultural norms when entering temples and shrines. The staff at the rental places will provide guidance on how to wear the kimono properly and any specific rules to observe.

6. Can I bring my own accessories to complement the kimono? – Most kimono rental places provide a comprehensive package that includes accessories like obi, undergarments, tabi socks, and sandals. However, if you have a specific accessory you’d like to wear, you can inquire with the rental place to see if it’s permissible.

7. Is it possible to rent a kimono for more than one day? – While the standard rental period is usually for a few hours, some kimono rental places may offer extended rental options for an additional fee. If you wish to rent a kimono for multiple days, it’s best to check with the rental place in advance to see if they offer such a service.

8. Can I take photos during the kimono rental process? – Yes, most kimono rental places allow you to take photos during the rental process. In fact, capturing behind-the-scenes moments can add a personal touch to your experience. However, some rental places may have restrictions on photography during the professional photoshoot, so it’s essential to clarify the rules beforehand.

9. What is the cancellation policy for kimono rental reservations? – Each kimono rental place may have its own cancellation policy. It’s crucial to review the terms and conditions when making a reservation. Generally, cancellations made well in advance are more likely to be fully refundable.

10. Is it necessary to know Japanese to rent a kimono in Kyoto? – Many kimono rental places in Kyoto have multilingual staff who can assist international visitors in English and other languages. You don’t need to know Japanese to rent a kimono, as the staff will guide you through the process and help you with any questions you may have.

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