During the maiko show at Hirashin Ryokan, I noticed the maiko’s exquisite kimono and hair ornaments. It was like a dream came true when we were later brought to Kyokomachi Kimono Rental to dress-up in kimono for the women and yukata for the men. Imagine strolling down the streets of Kyoto especially around Higashiyama and Gion in kimonos like a true geiko… Kyoto is the centre of Japanese culture!
It was quite insane for me to choose the kimono design that I really liked. There were too many beautiful kimono to choose from. I had to summon for help from our patron and also the lady from Kyokomachi.
I had to also choose the traditional Japanese sandals known as zori. There are varieties of sandals normally worn by the ladies with the kimono. But the one which looks like the western’s flip flop is known as zori.
Yukata for men
Once everything was selected to my liking, I bundled up everything in a huge basket and brought it up the first floor for the dress-up. The first floor was divided into the ladies section and the gentlemen section.
Wearing the kimono is a delicate work that takes years to master. I can attest to how complicated the process is to dress up in one, but once you are all done up, it is all worth the time and effort. Not that I had to dress up by myself, there were two ladies from Kyokomachi Kimono Rental who dolled me up.
After the wearer selects the desired kimono pattern, the hair will be styled first before the other parts of her body are garbed in kimono.
With white socks, traditional Japanese footwear and drawstring bag, I wandered around Gion pretending that I was one of the characters in the once popular Japanese television series ‘Oshin’.
Address: 104, Tatsumi-Cho (Higashioji-dori, Matsubara Agaru), Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto
Access: From JR Kyoto Station, take the municipal bus No. 206 to Kiyomizu-michi bus stop and walk towards Kyokomachi Rental Shop.