Despite Kim Kardashian’s cultural appropriation scandal caused by her underwear line brand, Kimono is still an important aspect of Japanese Culture and part of the Japanese identity.

But, who has not dreamed of being able to wear a Kimono in Japan?
There are many ways to experience traditional Japanese culture, and we are sure that many of those who have dreamed or are dreaming of traveling to Japan are thinking about having this special experience.

Speaking of Tradition, Japan Is One of the Countries Where Tradition Is Very Alive and Gets Passed Down From Generation to Generation.

Kimono History
Ancient Kabuki paint

The history of the Kimono dates back to the Heian period (794 – 1185) when, influenced by the Chinese culture, the first ancestors of the kimono made their appearance. Until this period the clothing was a straight-line-cut of fabric sewed together that fitted every type of body shape.

By the Kamakura Period (1185-1333), the kimono became an everyday clothing choice. In this period wearing kimono in layers became trendy fashion and the people developed an ability to blend colors harmoniously.

Clothing evolved during the Edo period (1603-1868) into a unisex outer garment called “kosode”. Every Japanese person wore it, regardless of age, gender, or socio-economic position. Only the technique, fabric, color, motif and style distinguished the wearer.

But it was not until the Meiji Period (1868-1912) that the clothing item we know began to be called kimono. Although at this time, Japan was heavily influenced by foreign cultures and the use of the kimono gave way to western clothing.

Kimono has a long history, of over 1,000 years, and nowadays it continues to be worn. Surprisingly, by more and more young people and also foreigners, who are attracted by the beauty of this unique garment. They are starting to define new and unique styles, sometimes combining kimono with western clothing.

Your Hand Will Not Be Enough to Count All the Types of Kimono That Exist.

This simple 1 piece of fabric but, at the same time, very complex to wear garment, can tell us about the wearer’s age, gender, formality of the occasion, and also the marital status. The decoration, the style of wear, and accessories also add nuances and details. The kimono has many rules for how to wear it properly and on what occasions.

From the extremely informal to the most formal kimono, there are a wide range of types of kimono style: 

Furisode – 振袖

Furisode Kimono

This type of kimono has long sleeves and it is decorated with colored patterns that cover the whole garment. The longer the sleeve is, the more formal it is. This kimono is worn by unmarried women only for special occasions like school graduation or coming of age ceremony.

Tomesode – 留袖

Kuro Tomesode
Tomesode Kimono

This kimono is divided in two types: the Kuro Tomesode, is a black kimono and Iro Tomesode, is a coloured kimono.
It is the most formal kimono worn by married women in formal events like weddings.

Hōmongi – 訪問着

Hōmongi Kimono

This is like a “cocktail dress”, an elegant kimono that has a pattern around the hem and sleeve and sometimes up over the body of the kimono. It is a semi formal kimono for both married and unmarried women.

Tsukesage – 付け下げ

Tsukesage Kimono

Iromuji – 色無地

Iromuji Kimono
Iromuji Kimono

This type of kimono has a plain color without any patterns. Iromuji kimono can have any color, except black and white. It is worn by both married and unmarried women in formal events.

Mofuku – 喪服

Mofuku Kimono
Mofuku Kimono

This type of kimono is a plain back silk kimono with five crests over white undergarments. It is a formal kimono worn by both male and female at burials.

Uchikake – 打ち掛け

Uchikake Kimono
Uchikake Kimono

This kimono is a very formal kimono worn by brides or stage performers. Uchikake kimono uses red or white as the base colors and it is longer than other types of kimono that often trails the floor.

Susohiki/Hikizuri – 裾引き・引きずり

Susohiki-Hikizuri Kimono
Susohiki/Hikizuri Kimono

This type of kimono is usually worn by geishas or stage performers of traditional Japanese dance (Nihon Buyō).

Odori Kimono – 踊り着物

Odori Kimono
Odori Kimono during the Nagoya Festival Parade

This type of kimono is a traditional Japanese dancer’s kimono. This kimono is very bright, and flashy, due to being associated with stage performances like festivals or public performances.

Komon – 小紋

Komon Kimono
A big group of women wearing Komon Kimono in Nagoya Castle

This kimono has a pattern covering the entire kimono but with no particular direction or layout. Komon is the most informal kimono and it is worn by married and unmarried women. Komon kimono can be made from many kinds of fabric including silk, wool, polyester and rayon.

Tsumugi – 紬

Tsumugi Kimono
Tsumugi Kimono

This kimono, like above Komon kimono, is a casual silk kimono which at first is dyed and then weaved by craftsmen. The most famous styles of Tsumugi are Yuki, Oshima, Shiozawa and Ueda-Tsumugi.

Yukata – 浴衣

Wearing Yukata in Shirotori Garden

This kimono is an informal kimono worn only at festivals during summer. Usually made of cotton or polyester, yukata uses bright colors with summer-themed designs. It is worn by men and women and any one in any type of age.

All the information above might make you feel a little overwhelmed.  But don’t worry about the details too much, simply wearing a Kimono is a special experience that you should try at least once in a lifetime. You don’t have to remember all the details.

But Let’s First Answer This Question “Is It Rude for Foreigners to Wear Kimono?”

Some of you might be worried if it will be seen as inappropriate or even rude to wear a Kimono as a foreigner. Our personal opinion is “No, it is not rude”. But since we are foreigners as well we would like to share with you the thoughts of Japanese writer Saki Yoshida through her article “Is It Rude To Wear Kimono?” published on The Real Japan.

Get Dressed in a Beautiful Kimono by the Hand of a Professional Kimono Dresser.

Wearing a kimono yourself is not easy if you have not been taught how. Surprisingly, most of the Japanese people don’t know how to wear a kimono and how to put on each part and accessory.

Wearing a kimono takes time and also practice, so for those who want experience wearing a kimono without the pain of getting dressed yourself, we highly recommend to use the services of a kimono rental store.

In Nagoya there are many kimono rental stores where you can get the perfect outfit and also the perfect hairstyle! You can rent the Kimono for one day or even longer.

Here are some of your options:

Cockney Kimono

Cockney Kimono
Getting dressed in Kockney Kimono

Cockney Kimono is a hair salon that offers a kimono dressing experience.
They have a variety of kimonos ready for you to choose from. Because it’s close to Endoji, one of the old shopping streets, you can enjoy the historic spots, temples and cafes around the area while wearing a kimono.

Muslim Friendly! Muslim women can fully enjoy the experience too!
Cockney Kimono is offering hijabs which perfectly match with their kimono.
Cockney Kimono also offers kimono dressing classes via Skype. 

*Advance reservation required.
*Cash and credit cards are accepted.

Cockney Kimono
Opening Hours: 11:00 to 16:00 (kimono return time 15:00); closed every Monday, every 2nd, 3rd and 5th Tuesday.
Address: Nishiki Building 1F, 3-20-20 Meieki, Nakamura Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 450-0002
Phone: (+81) 052-433-2254
Website | Google Maps

Wasou Kajiura

Wasou Kajiura
Wasou Kajiura. Image via Wasou Kajiura

Close to Osu Shopping Street, this kimono rental shop is also a kimono school with regular lessons that teach you how to wear a kimono. The friendly staff advises you about the kimono that fits you best.

*Advance reservation required.
*Cash and credit cards are accepted.

Wasou Kajiura (和装カジウラ)
Opening Hours: 10:30 – 16:00; open everyday.
Address: 4-10-40 Kajiu Latex Building 5F, Osu, Naka Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 460-0011
Phone: (+81) 052-253-9477
Website | Google Maps

Tsuki no Usagi Cafe

Tsuki no Usagi Cafe
A small group of women wearing a Taisho Roman Hakama Kimono

Located just a few steps from Nagoya Station this Cafe & Dining shop offers 
Taisho Period style kimono called “Taisho Roman” (a “romantic vintage” kimono). 
The cafe interior has a retro atmosphere that makes you feel like you are back in the Taisho Period (1912 – 1926). The waitresses are dressed in Taisho Period clothes as well.

*Advance reservation is not required.
*Cash and credit cards are accepted.

Tsuki no Usagi Cafe (フェダイニング月のうさぎ)
Opening Hours: 10:00 – 19:00 (Lunch 11:30 – 16:00); closed Tuesdays, Tuesday, 1st and 3rd Mondays.
Address: 1-30-15-2 Nagono, Nishi Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 451-0042
Google Maps

Inuyama Biyori Kimono Rental Shop

Inuyama Biyori Kimono Rental Shop
Wearing Yukata while strolling around Inuyama temples

Located in Inuyama, a city 30 minutes from Nagoya Station by train. You can choose from a variety of kimono, yukata and obi. Find your best match!
Once dressed in your kimono, take your time to visit the downtown area along with its many “kawaii” stores and coffee shops. Try to reach the Inuyama Castle.

*Advance reservation required.
*Cash and credit cards are accepted.

Inuyama Biyori Kimono Rental Shop (犬山日和)
Opening Hours: 10:00 – 18:00; closed Tuesdays.
Address: Higashikoken-195 Inuyama, Aichi 484-0081
Phone: (+81) 0568-61-2532
Website | Google Maps

Inuyama Komachi Kimono Rental Shop

Inuyama Komachi Kimono Rental Shop
Inuyama Biyori Kimono Rental Shop entrance. Image via Inuyama Komachi Kimono Rental Shop

Enjoy wearing a casual kimono, hakama, or yukata. This small kimono rental shop has over 100 kimono, hear accessories, kimono shoes, umbrellas, etc.

*Advance reservation required.
*Cash and credit cards are accepted.

Inuyama Komachi Kimono Rental Shop (犬山小町)
Opening Hours: 10:00 – 18:00; open everyday.
Address: 21-3, Nishikoken, Inuyama, Aichi 484-0081
Phone: (+81) 0568-62-6001
Website | Google Maps

Stroll Around the Many Kimono Shops in Nagoya.

You can purchase a new or used kimono at many specialized stores in and around Nagoya. They can also be found in department stores and shopping malls across the city.

NOTE: Finding out your size for a vintage kimono might be a bit challenging because normally old kimonos are small in size, but don’t give up!

KOMEHYO Nagoya Honten Kimonokan

KOMEHYO Nagoya Honten Kimonokan
KOMEHYO Nagoya Honten Kimonokan entrace. Image via  Kimono Kaitori Guide

Probably the most famous kimono store in Nagoya where you can buy new and second-hand kimonos. The second-hand kimonos are available on the second floor at a very affordable price. You can find all kinds of kimono, from winter kimono to yukata and summer kimono, also all types of obi and kimono accessories. All products are labeled by a color code (yellow, red and green). Each color represents a price, ranging from 1,000 yen to 4,000 yen.
They also sell second-hand kimono and obi by weight, where the price is almost ridiculously cheap.

*Cash and credit cards are accepted.

KOMEHYO Nagoya Honten Kimonokan (コメ兵名古屋本店 きもの館)
Opening Hours: 10:30 – 19:00; closed the 1st and 3rd Wednesday.
Address: 2 Chome-19-36 Ōsu, Naka Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 460-0011
Phone: (+81) 052-203-0116
Website | Google Maps


KAZARIYA Kimono display. Image via KAZARIYA

This is a small kimono shop that sells a very good selection of vintage and modern second-hand kimono and obi. Even if you don’t know much about kimono, the super friendly owner helps you to match the colors and the styles of every part of the kimono. And you can also find original and unique handmade accessories like hair ornaments, earrings, handbags. All created by Japanese designers and craftsmens.

*Cash only.

Opening Hours: 11:00 – 18:00; open only Saturdays, Sundays, and national holidays.
Address: 3−41−8 Kakeno Building 201, Ōsu, Naka Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 460-0011
Phone: (+81) 050-3639-5148
Website | Google Maps


Tansuya. Image via Google Maps

Tansuya is a relatively small kimono recycle shop that sells very authentic and rare vintage kimono. 

*Cash and credit cards are accepted.

Tansuya (たんす屋 大須店)
Opening Hours: 11:00 – 20:00; open everyday.
Address: 3-34-1 Osu, Naka Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 460-0011
Phone: (+81) 052-252-5291
Website (Japanese only) | Google Maps


Daifukuya 3rd floor, during its “Kukashi Kimono Ichiba” bargain day. Image via Daifukuya

This is a kimono shop that sells both new and used kimono at excellent prices. 
On the third floor you will find a wide selection of kimono for a crazy price on the 28th of every month. A little reccomendation here: come before the shop opens and prepare yourself for a “battle royale” with other (mostly Japanese) women.

*Cash and credit cards are accepted.

Daifukuya (大福屋)
Opening Hours: 10:00 – 18:00; closed Tuesdays.
Address: 3-37−13 Osu, Naka Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 460-0011
Phone: (+81) 052-241-5588
Website (Japanese only) | Google Maps

Kimono & Cafe bokuranoyume

Kimono & Cafe bokuranoyume
Kimono & Cafe bokuranoyume. Image via Kimono & Cafe bokuranoyume

If you don’t care much about spending money on a brand new kimono or yukata this is one of our recommendations.
This small kimono shop also has a coffee shop indoors, so you can choose your kimono while taking a drink. Compared with other kimono shops, bokuranoyume kimono, yukata and obi have a modern design and trendy color palette.

*Yukata 1,000 yen, Kimono from 3,000 yen
*Advance reservation required.
*Cash and credit cards are accepted.

Kimono & Cafe bokuranoyume (僕らのゆめ)
Opening Hours: 11:00 – 20:00; closed Tuesdays.
Address: 3-32-23 Sakae, Naka Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 460-0008
Phone: (+81) 052-262-9911
Website (Japanese only) | Google Maps

One of the best occasions to enjoy wearing a Kimono is by going to a tea ceremony. Get to know the best places that are holding tea ceremonies in Nagoya.

If you are looking for a Kimono Walking Tour take a look at this tour.

Slide 2

Nagoya Kimono Old Town Walking Tour
Book a special experience by dressing a beautiful silk kimono and discovering one part of the old town of Nagoya.

Do you want to know more about Nagoya? Find out in this other article
7 Best Things to Do in Nagoya

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About the author

Web and Graphic designer based in Nagoya (Aichi Prefecture) for more than 15 years. She is very passionate and loves Japanese culture and history. She is a expert tour guide on Sumo, Sake and Japanese crafts. She is also a photographer, travel writer....and a travel-food-dance lover.
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