Characteristically Kyoto, the traditional Japanese T-shaped dress, usually in silk and consisting of 12 parts, continues to intrigue and attract the worldwide audience. Find your perfect version while in Japan, with some exquisite choices available, complementing your personality and bringing that mysterious oriental touch to the whole appearance. Prices can go very high, but luckily there are many reasonable options including rental for a few awesome selfies.
What are the best places to buy kimono you may wonder? Coming right up.
1. FUUKA KIMONO SHOP – GAIJIN (FOREIGNER) FAVOURITE
The little shop is located near the main shopping area in downtown Kyoto. You will find it in a small street on the second floor with a sign out front. Touristy yes, but with a great selection and English speaking staff that will help you choose this enchanting garment. Prices? Very reasonable, you can find a lovely outfit for a fraction of the costs. A rental is also an option here.
Address: 235 Sendocho Shimogyo, Kyoto (map)
Hours: Monday – Friday 10AM–5PM; Saturday, Sunday closed
2. CRÈME DE LA CRÈME – CHISO DESIGN
Chiso is one of the city’s most impressive outlets, and if you’re serious about kimono shopping, then you can’t miss it. This stunning kimono store balances preserving traditional style and aesthetics while bringing the classic art to the 21st century.
What makes it all that more special is in 2006, the store opened its kimono salon Sohya. Because the store itself is styled after a salon, Sohya’s staff can tailor every inch of the kimono experience to suit your needs and taste, from measurements to fabrics to accessories, making it the perfect way for customers to find exactly what they want no matter how difficult or obscure.
Mastering the art & the science of the hand made kimonos, Chiso is a kimono brand establishing Japanese fashion credentials in 1555. Here we are talking about Haute Couture, luxurious hand painted, hand made, top quality kimonos using the finest of the domestic materials, labeled with made in Kyoto label and using the yuzen dyeing technique.
Their special store Sohya Tas is an extravagant stretch of the kimono accessories as well as modern products, made in collaboration with Japan’s famous designers. Definitely worth a look and bring the credit card with the highest limit, temptation is big.
Check out Chiso’s gallery, located on the second floor of the company’s headquarters for a little additional inspiration. This display, which is open to the public, features Chiso’s work as well as a collection of artifacts covering many facets of the kimono making process.
Address: Japan, 〒604-8166 Kyoto, Nakagyo Ward, Mikuracho, 80 (map)
Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday closed; Monday, Thursday-Sunday 11AM–6PM
3. OCHICOCHIYA KYOTO
If you’re not an avid shopper, introducing Ochicochiya, a kimono store spread over two floors specializing in home washable cotton, truly a practical option and a good place to pick up a bargain. Easy to find in downtown Kyoto, friendly, attentive, and English-speaking staff.
On the first floor, you’ll find new, and the second gives the vintage section, pre-owned kimonos with some very nice and well-preserved pieces. Women and men alike can find something without much fuss and expense. The prices start at 3000 Yen (25$)
Address: 112-1 Butsukoji Higashimachi, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto, 600-8054, Japan (map)
Hours: Tuesday – Sunday 11AM–6PM; Monday closed
4. FLEA MARKETS
If you will visit Kyoto on the 15th, 21st, or 25th, pop in one of the flea markets to pick up a vintage kimono, souvenirs and so much more from the shops and stalls clustered within. The two largest and most popular areas are the ones at To-ji located south-west of Kyoto Station, an easy walk from the station, happening on the 21st of each month, and Kitano Tenman-gu on the 25th, located near the temple, just make sure to get off at the Kitano Tenmangumae bus stop.
Seize the day here, as you will have plenty of choices and opportunity to find a real gem.
Address: Bakurocho, Kamigyo Ward, Kyoto, 602-8386, Japan (map)
Hours: Monday – Sunday 6:30AM–5PM
5. DRESS UP AT KYOTO KIMONO PRO
Imagine a really fun day, a unique sightseeing adventure that starts at Kyoto Kimono Pro located in the heart of the city, 5 minutes from the Hankyu’s Karasuma station, and if you can’t be bothered looking for it, just let them know beforehand about your arrival time and they will come to meet you at the station.
Apart from their own dress-up plans, you can have your fun picking a combo of the day, matching colors, and accessories to take out for a stroll. Rental prices start at 3000 yen.
Address: Japan, 〒600-8432 Kyoto, Shimogyo Ward, 仏光寺通新町東入ル糸屋町225 仏光寺室町ビル2階3階 (map)
Hours: Tueday closed; Monday, Wednesday – Sunday 10AM–7PM
6. CHICAGO – VINTAGE
Ideal for those looking for the perfect place to buy a cheap vintage kimono in Kyoto, Chicago is an iconic Japanese thrift store with locations throughout the nation, including Kyoto.
You can find pieces in every color imaginable, all carefully arranged in color order. This thrifting kimono experience is a fun and hands-on way to find that perfect one-off piece. If you can’t find what you want here, be sure to pop into the Tokyo outlets when you’re in town too.
Address: Japan, 〒604-8061 Kyoto, Nakagyo Ward, 寺町 六角下式部258 (map)
Hours: Monday – Sunday 11AM–8PM
7. VINTAGE HINAYA
Located on the way to Kiyomizudera temple, the conveniently positioned Hinaya Kyoto is one of Kyoto’s most exciting and fashion-forward vintage and second-hand kimono shops.
The impressive store sells vintage kimonos that have been repurposed into modern streetwear styles. It’s high end casual with a bold classic Kyoto touch. For those wanting to seamlessly add a little traditional Japanese style into your everyday wardrobe, this is the place to go.
Address: Japan, 〒605-0846 Kyoto, Higashiyama Ward, Gojobashihigashi, 4−448 (map)
Hours: Monday – Friday 10AM–5PM; Saturday, Sunday closed
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