Kimono are these gorgeous and traditional Japanese garments that are by no means for everyday wear! Speaking from experience, they just take a really long time to put on, and once you’re dressed, walking becomes even more difficult, But it seemed like a bucket-list sort of thing to do in Japan, so why not?
It’s easy to find people in kimono around Kyoto, my favorite city in Japan so far! There are shops advertising kimono rentals that are really popular with visitors and locals too, I think. But the city I live in is not anywhere near Kyoto. In fact it’s on an entirely different island!
The largest city in Hokkaido is Sapporo City, and when my family visited, we decided to try our luck at locating a shop advertising kimono rentals. Finding the shop was, in hindsight, just as amusing as the experience of trying on our first kimonos.
At first, we ended up in a Muslim prayer room located at a tourist information center where we thought the kimono rental shop was. The attendant was really nice and welcomed us in with a smile. She gestured to a small heap of what we thought were the kimono and then returned to a room where some sort of meeting was happening.
It turned out this was not the right place. Luckily, the actual shop was only a floor below. It took maybe 30 minutes for all of us to get dressed up, and it was so much fun. They outfitted us in three colorful floral kimonos, and gave us handbags and hair accessories to match.
Outside, we attracted so much attention and there were so many people asking to take our pictures and take pictures with us. At Hokkaido Shrine a photographer who happened to be riding by on his bike gave us a free photo shoot! And so that was our kimono-wearing adventure.