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Kimono Rental experience in Asakusa | Kimono Miyabi


Renting a Kimono in Asakusa Sensoji seems like the type of thing I would've done as a first time tourist in Japan. In fact, when I first came to Japan with my family, it was the summer of 2010 and the very first spot we visited was Sensoji. Traveling as a family of 4 internationally to Tokyo was a huge burden on the wallet, so on my very first trip, I brought my own Yukata and dressed myself up. Fast forward 11 years, now that I'm living in Tokyo, it seemed silly to play tourist and rent a kimono in Sensoji area. But honestly, why not? So I decided to book a Kimono rental with Kimono Miyabi and hired a photographer (@dzzdm) for half an hour as an early birthday gift to myself.  

 

I found Kimono Miyabi (Kimono rental near Sensoji) from the Chinese photographer (@dzzdm). I've seen her work on Xiaohongshu (Instagram/Pinterest equivalent in China) and she captures a very whimsical take on Kimonos, making the experience modern yet still celebrating the traditions of the art of wearing  Kimonos. 

Step 1: Pick your Kimono or Yukata


The Sensoji branch of Kimono Miyabi is just one street down from Kaminarimon (雷門) which leads to the Sando (参道) or road leading up to Sensoji Temple. Upon entering their rental shop, you will see rows  and rows of Kimonos and Yukatas for both men and women to choose from. I had originally booked a Summer Yukata plan online, but after browsing I wanted to upgrade to a lace kimono, and the shop was very nice to accommodate the change by charging me just ¥1,300 extra.

Step 2: Pick your Obi, accessories, and matching bag

  

After you pick your Kimono/Yukata, there is a wall of colorful Obi (帯, the long cloth for a Kimono that wraps around the waist) to choose from. The staff will then bring you to the changing room in the back. They provide a thin undergarment for you to wear and lockers for you to store your belongings in. Two staff members will then start wrapping you up tightly like a sausage roll, except in beautiful cloth. If you choose a Kimono, they'll also give you options for cloth that lines neckline and sleeves under the main piece of Kimono garment. After the Obi is put on, there are more accessories onto and under the Obi you can pick from, like pearls, gemstones, or ribbons. Once you're all dressed up, you also get to pick a matching bag. All of this is included in the rental package. I absolutely love Kimono Miyabi for their broad range of styles. The bags come in various colors, traditional and modern, some are pearl others are woven bags etc. 

Step 3: Style your hair


One last step: if you've included hairstyling, there  are also so many types of accessories to choose from. They'll give you a styling sheet full of different braids and updos, and you can pick any accessory to go with it. In my case I went with flowers and cat ears. They also have vintage style net hat pieces if that's the look you're going for. 

Step 4: Borrow more accessories (Masks, umbrellas, fans, flowers, katanas)


Completely optional, but I highly recommend it: you can borrow their accessories for free and bring it out. This is a first come first serve basis, so if you'd like to get first pick, book the 10am time slot and arrive on time. I choose just to borrow their white lace umbrella since my Kimono is a lace style. But I've also seen girls borrow the same mask together to match. I've rented with several places in Kyoto before, but this is the first time I've seen a shop allow you to borrow other accessories on top of what they already include in the package!

The Photoshoot in Sensoji Area with @dzzdm

Picking, getting dressed in the Kimono, and getting my hair done took less than half an hour. I walked over to Sensoji to meet my photographer. She was very lovely and pleasant to work with. What I loved was that she knew all these spots I never knew existed in Sensoji area. I've never really posed in a Kimono before, but my photographer was very good at directing my face and body angle, hand placement, where to look,  and how to interact with accessories. I'm even more surprised that her rates are affordable and even less expensive than if you booked a photographer directly from the Kimono rental place. She originally came to Japan as a language student, but has lived here for a while. Photography is her side job and she's been receiving a lot less bookings since the pandemic hit so I'm so glad I could support her. (And honestly she should be charging more). 



We mainly took the Kimono shoot around the Northwest side of Sensoji area. 


Details on this Kimono Shoot:
  • Kimono Rental: Kimono Miyabi  (To make a reservation, visit their official website and to make changes to a booking, DM them on Instagram)
  • Yukata Plan from ¥3,500
  • Hair + Lace Kimono rental: ¥9,300
  • Photographer: @dzzdm (DM her to make a booking, languages: Chinese/Japanese)
  • Photography 30min: ¥10,000 (this is not an official rate, it may differ depending on your location, date, and timing. This is just a rough estimate. Please DM her directly for rates)
  

After I finished the shoot with my photographer, I continued to wander around the North side of Sensoji. These were some spots we passed by where I wanted to take photos and videos of which were easy to do with a phone and tripod.

 

Before returning my Kimono, I visited one last place right by Kimono Miyabi. It's a Miffy Flower shop but also Cafe called "Miffi Asakusaten Flowers". They sell super cute sodas and very delicious donuts. The pink and purple colors also matched the Kimono I was wearing. 

Whatever the occasion is, and whether it's your 1st or 20th time in Asakusa Sensoji area, consider changing up the experience with a Kimono Rental walk or photoshoot. There are always different promotions at Kimono Miyabi for example couples or bring-a-friend discounts. Plus there just isn't other places that have so m any accessories like them! And please also check-out and support my photographer @dzzdm, you won't be disappointed if you decide to have a photoshoot with her. 

Follow me on instagram  @ariel.land for more Japan travel content



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