If you plan to visit Japan, renting a kimono while you are there is probably on your to-do list (if not, make sure you try it because it's a lot of fun!). Kimono rental shops are all over Japan, and most of them offer similar services. To get the most out of your kimono experience, here are some tips to get you ready!
1. Pick a Kimono with Bold Colors and Large Prints
When you first step into a kimono rental shop, you will be overwhelmed by the number of choices. Where do you start? You want something that looks good in photos, since you will be taking many of them! Avoid small, delicate floral patterns like the following:
Don't get me wrong: these kimonos are absolutely beautiful, and they have their purpose and use. But when you want photos of youself in a kimono, you are shooting for the WOW effect, like the following:
2. Bring Your Own Hair Accessories
Many kimono rental shops charge extras for hair styling and accessories, so it's actually common for people to bring their own! Flower hair accessories work the best since you will find many kimonos in floral prints.
3. Don't Suck in Your Belly When Being Put On a Kimono
Someone at the shop will help you put on a kimono, and she will make sure it's secured and tight. If you are not used to tight fitting clothing, you may find it difficult to breathe. Try to relax your belly, and maybe even extend a little so you will have more breathing room later. No one will look for your slim and curvy waistline when wearing a kimono. In fact, you are not supposed to show your curves :)
4. Spring and Fall are Your Best Options
No matter what season it is, most rental shops carry the same selection of kimonos. Most of them have what we call yukatas, or summer kimonos, which are thinner and generally have vibrant colors. Even though the fabric is thinner than traditional kimonos, you can still get super hot and sweaty during the summer time. If you visit during the winter, be ready to freeze your butt off!
Bonus Tip: Bring a Cute Bag
Bring a Japanese style bag to carry all your essentials! Your camera, phone, wallet, passport, etc. An example would be a cute knot bag that is big enough for all your stuff, but small enough that it won't get in the way!
Do you have any questions? Or any tips you would like to share?