Top 5 Kimono/Yukata Rental Shops in Kyoto

If you want to wear a real kimono or yukata (light cotton kimono worn in the summer) while in Kyoto, here are five shops where you can rent and get dressed in a kimono or yukata.

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1. Yumeyakata

Yumeyakata is famous for their ability to easily dress customers and set their hair. Enter empty-handed and you can get completely dressed in a kimono in just about 40 minutes, or be fully transformed into a kimono-clad woman in approximately an hour with the optional hair arrangement. They have foreign staff available, so there is nothing to fear even if you have no idea how to wear a kimono. Women can choose from about 500 kimonos in its catalogue, and they will even give you new tabi socks, traditional socks with a split toe, as a gift. Another one of the reasons why this shop is so popular is because they will store your carrying bags and other large packages for free. And as an option, you can get your photo taken in their studio for about 10 minutes. But if you avail of the popular Location Photo Plan that you can only see at Yumeyakata, a professional photographer will tag along with you and take your photos with the Kyoto townscape and landmarks in the background. How do you feel about sightseeing in Kyoto while having your pictures taken like a model? Yumeyakata will also rent out yukatas until September 10, 2016.

*Photo is for illustration purposes

2. Rental Kimono Okamoto

Rental Kimono Okamoto was established by Okamoto Orimono Shop, which boasts of a long history that dates back 180 years. It takes pride in its extensive assortment of kimonos that only a textile shop can offer, with more than 1,000 kimonos available for you to choose from! Here, you can select a kimono you like while enjoying the fun of not knowing which one to choose. With its extensive lineup of kimonos, Rental Kimono Okamoto even has a lot of kimonos in tall and wide sizes for tall women and ladies with an ample figure. The Kiyomizuzaka branch houses a full-fledged studio, so if you want your picture taken, then this branch is recommended for you. It also has a convenient location that is just a one-minute walk to Kiyomizudera Temple. Meanwhile, the Main Shop occupies a vast 330sq.m. area, so it is recommended to those that will be going in groups. The Gion Shop has a shrine inside the shop, and the store resembles a kyomachiya (traditional Kyoto townhouse), so if you get dressed here you will feel the strong Japanese atmosphere. Aside from the above shops, Rental Kimono Okamoto also has branches at Yasakanotomae and other areas in Kyoto. All its shops are quite close to famous sightseeing spots, so you can head to those shops anytime you feel like wearing a kimono. This shop also rents out yukata, but only from June through September.

*Photo is for illustration purposes

2. Rental Kimono Okamoto

3. Kyogokoro

Kyogokoro is not only famous for its kimono and yukata rental services, but also for its rental plan that will let you experience the culture together with the kimono. With this rental plan, you will be able to experience Japan’s traditional culture while getting dressed, such as the art of creating hair ornaments, drawstring pouch and other small accessories, as well as tea, calligraphy, incense-smelling and enjoying the koto, a 13-stringed Japanese zither. While these arts and performances may be enjoyed while you are in western clothing, it will surely leave you with a more precious experience if you immerse yourself in the traditional culture by reproducing the customs at that time and wearing a kimono. Everything is done at the kyomachiya that is just a minute’s walk from the shop, but you need to make a reservation at least a week in advance, although the deadline varies depending on what you want to do. You should try this to leave the bustle of the city and experience the delicate and refined culture of Japan while wearing a kimono. There is no doubt that it will become an unforgettable memory for you. Kyogokoro also offers yukata during the summer season.

*Photo is for illustration purposes

4. Mission Gion

Mission Gion was produced by the Gion-based hair salon Hair Mission Gion. More than anything, this shop is characterized by the inclusion of quick 10-minute hair arrangement in every kimono rental plan. You can choose the arrangement you want from several patterns and then a professional hairdresser will skillfully set your hair. Hair ornaments are also included in the rental plans, so you will totally feel like a model when you go around town while wearing a kimono and donning the perfect hairstyle. They also have rental plans that come with makeup, so it might also be a great idea to let a professional completely transform you into a kimono-clad beauty. Further, its shop is located near the standard sightseeing spots such as Yasaka Shrine and Kiyomizudera Temple, as well as the bustling towns of Shijo and Kawaramachi, so it is extremely convenient as the starting point in your sightseeing tour. If you want to briskly walk around Kyoto in a kimono, then Mission Gion is perfect for you. This shop also carries yukata in the summer.

*Photo is for illustration purposes

5. wargo

Wargo is the kimono rental shop with the most number of branches all over Kyoto. With six shops (Kyoto Station Mae, Gionshijo, Shinkyogoku, Kiyomizuzaka, Kinkakuji and Ninenzaka) that are easily accessible to and from Kyoto’s famous sightseeing spots, wargo is a major rental shop that boasts of an overwhelming inventory of more than 4,000 kimono and more than 3,000 yukata. It also runs a shop selling Japanese trinkets, so you’d be happy to know that basket bags and hairpins that go well with kimono are also included in their rental packages. They will even take your picture for free as long as you agree to your photo being posted on their homepage, blog, or SNS channels! They have professional photography equipment, so you will be left with a beautiful and fancy picture that is set against the retro modern interior or the front of the shop. For those who want to have their pictures taken professionally in a studio, you can do that by simply going to their branches in Kyoto Tower in front of Kyoto Station and at Kyoto Gionshijo and availing of this service as an option. Their studios are filled with a lot of different background pictures and trinkets and accessories, so having a picture of your kimono-wearing self taken before you head out for sightseeing will surely become a great memory of your trip. This shop also rents out yukata during summer.

*Photo is for illustration purposes

Wouldn’t it be exciting to enhance your sightseeing trip to Kyoto and make better memories by actually wearing a kimono or yukata?

*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.

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Writer: Mayuka Ueno

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