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Dressing The Part : Where To Shop In Japan

August 18th 2009 20:51
In a culture as simultaneously ancient and modern as Japan’s, it is not entirely surprising to see people amid the suited throngs of business folk wearing the traditional yukuta whilst surrounded by modern Tokyo’s intense neon glow. Yukata have been donned for thousands of years in Japan, getting their start as an after-bath wrap for members of the aristocracy and eventually evolving into a comfortable summer-worn style, as suitable for a day perusing the markets as a casual night on the town. The more widely familiar term kimono refers to the style preferable in winter.

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In the 1990s, the traditional garment’s popularity had a resurgence, and these days even the city’s hipsters wear them, embracing tradition whilst adding modern stylistic touches to break the traditional mold. The Ginza District of Tokyo is well known for high-end shopping, so it’s no surprise that Ginza Motoji's multiple locations in this area showcase some of the most luxurious kimonos available, in fabrics so unique that some take years to design and create. While the Otoko no kimono shop caters exclusively to male shoppers seeking a relaxed atmosphere in which to find their perfect kimono, the Wasen store caters to customers seeking trendy, original, and made-to-order designs. Service is key in each location, and at Wasen the staff will happily teach newcomers how to coordinate kimonos according to season.

Those who visit Japan from other parts of the world have caught on as well, and a number of places now offer the opportunity for visitors to don the traditional dress of Japan, at least for the day. Specialised tour operators are happy to impart the proper way to tie an obi (the yukata’s all-important belt), choose an appropriate pattern based on your age, marital status, and other factors, and help you enjoy a day out and about in Tokyo.


Kimono Holiday is one such full-service option, offering several packages that include yukata rentals for both men and women. In their largest offering (available for up to two people at a time), a staffer will come to your hotel and assist you in dressing for the day out, then escort you to your jinrikisha (rickshaw) for a tour of one of Tokyo’s oldest districts before dropping you at the Tokyo National Museum to explore its vast collection of Asian masterworks. Once back at the hotel, staffers will help you change and collect the yukata.

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2 Comments. [ Add A Comment ]

Comment by Fashion Tweets

September 26th 2009 21:35
I love traditional Japanese culture very intriguing.

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