Nov. 27, 2017 UPDATE
Time to change to a kimono and go for a walk in Gion!
Rent a kimono and feel Japanese for a day in Gion!
As you just read, Gion is the most famous Hamachi in Kyoto, so you stand a chance to see a real maiko. But you probably also want to wear a kimono yourself too and walk around Gion like a local. There are really many places around Gion that offer kimono rentals, but this time I have chosen two of them that I feel are especially worth a mention. So, it’s time to rent our kimono and head out sightseeing in Gion!
Kyoto Kimono Rental Wargo
At Kyoto Kimono Rental Wargo’s Gion shop they have a great selection of all kinds of kimonos, starting from only 2,990 yen for a day.
They have not only many types of kimonos of all kinds of patterns, but also many sizes. You can choose from kimonos with light colors to very vivid ones. Some of the patterns are cute, others have seasonal flowers on them, so there is a lot to choose from, and there’s something for the young and for those who are not-so-young. This time I chose a black kimono; something I hadn’t worn before!
You have a professional kimono-person help you dress up, and she’ll also help you tie the obi sash. Which is really nice, since normally it would be difficult to do it by yourself. The kimono may feel a bit tight, but it needs to be that way in order to look good.
And of course, you have to get your hair done too. The prices for this start at 500 yen, but it’s really worth it to get your hair to go with the kimono.
So, here I am, all ready to go for a walk in Gion! They also have a photo-area in the back of the shop where you get to take pictures for Instagram before you go out. So Japanese!
And then you get to go to all the shrines and temples of Gion and take pictures! The pictures you get to take at these places are all special, and I’m sure they’ll become a lasting memory for you.
Okamoto Kimono Rental
Okamoto Kimono Rental’s Gion shop is located close to Maruyama Park and the Path of Nene, and its entrance is easy to notice: you can see the Japanese garden of the shop right away! The Gion shop is their most special, most Japanese one. It has a quiet charm to it.
The kimonos at this shop are a bit more flashy than at others, and they have an especially nice selection of kimonos with floral patterns. They also have kimonos for those who are a bit bigger, so even us who are over 170cm have a nice selection to choose from!
I found the obi sash to be the hardest thing to choose. It has to go with the color and pattern of your kimono, and it needs to stand out but not too much. The best course of action here is to ask the staff about which type of sash would go best with the kimono you have chosen.
I chose a cute kimono this time and a dark blue obi sash tied in a butterfly knot and went for an overall cute look. For 540 yen you can get your hair done, and you get to choose your hairstyle from six options. I had my hair braided!
When you walk by the pond in Maruyama Park, it’s nice to stop for a while to have your picture taken with the blue sky and the pond in the background. The vivid color and the flower pattern of my kimono went really well with it!
You can also rent a Japanese parasol with your kimono, and it’s really nice to get to use one when you’re taking pictures. And it also shields you from the sun! And when you’re wearing a kimono, you almost feel like a celebrity. Many people will ask to take a picture with you!
If you go to Gion and wear a kimono, you of course also have to see the shrines and temples! So let's go take a look at them!