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Experience 'Wa'! Things to do in Asakusa(1/3)

Asakusa, home of Sensoji Temple, Nakamise Road, and many other sightseeing locations full of the charm of Edo, also has many places where one can experience Japan’s traditional culture. I will report 3 ‘Wa’ experiences you can enjoy while strolling through town. First, I will introduce the kimono experience which will delight your spirits!

Stroll through Asakusa in a charming kimono

An atmosphere of 'Wa' abounds in Asakusa district. In the vicinity of Sensoji temple, where a taste of Edo remains, it is most photogenic to walk about in a kimono , the traditional outfit of Japan. 'SakuraPhotoStudio' provides kimono for rent at any time - even the moment "I want to try it on!" pops into your head.

We are located a 2 minute walk from Asakusa Station, and rent out all goods necessary for a full kimono outfit, including kimono, tabi, zori, bags, etc. We can also set your hair so that you may enjoy the kimono experience even if unprepared.

Over 50 kimonos, and 13 long sleeved, children's and men's kimono also available. Yukata are available from June to September.

A well-chosen obi will make your kimono glow. Our lineup includes 50 varieties of half length, 20 varieties of Nagoya obi, and 10 varieties of double-woven.

We have a simple plan and basic plan for hair dressing. Your heart will dance while choosing from our rich selection of hairpins.

There are 3 rental courses. There are the normal use combined with 'half length obi' simple plan (3600 yen/person, 2 or more = 2500 yen/person), the tea ceremony formal with a 'Nagoya obi' set basic plan (5000 yen/person), and the luxury plan, featuring a gorgeous 'long sleeved' kimono for unwedded women during ceremonial use. We answer to all your kimono needs whether you desire to wear kimono casually or are looking for a rigorous Japanese traditional clothing experience.
We answer to all your kimono needs whether you desire to wear kimono casually or are looking for a rigorous Japanese traditional clothing experience.

For this interview I went all out with the luxury plan experience!

<The kimono experience: How to>

1)Choose a kimono
First I chose a kimono I liked from a selection of 50. There were so many gorgeous designs! I was told cherry blossoms are popular. If you find a pattern you like, you can reserve it through the company's home page.  

2)Put on hadagi
After putting on hadagi - underwear for kimono, a towel was wrapped a few times around my waist. This was to hide the contours of my body. After that I put on the nagajuban.

3)Get your hair styled
A braided hair style , standard for kimono, was included in the simple hair set. For long sleeved kimono, you also can have a weave added to make your hair more extravagant. And to top it off, I chose from 10 types of hairpins to match my kimono! You can have makeup done also for a separate price of 4000 yen.

4)Put on kimono
I draped the long sleeved kimono I chose earlier around my shoulders. The measurements were adjusted and everything was secured with waist strings. The kimono selection is suitable for women up to 175 centimeters tall. Finally, the outfit was topped off with the obi being tightened around my waist and some final adornments.

5)Finished! A beauty in Japanese dress
Let's review how to move elegantly so as not to put this beautiful outfit to waste. Kiyomi-san, a representative from 'SakuraPhotoStudio' says、"Put your feet and hands together when you sit and stand for maximum beauty. Don't take wide stride. Try to walk with a slight in-toe. Also, when you take pictures, lean center of gravity back and take a slightly diagonal stance to show off your belt and hairpins."

The real fun starts after you put it on! I'm off to Asakusa in a Japanese kimono. The luxury plan gives you 1 hour of free time. With simple and basic plans, you can enjoy to kimono until 5 pm when it has to be returned.

The belt arrangements are so CUTE!

They do you up right so that even after walking around for an hour, the kimono still fits snug.

I rented tabi and zori with cherry blossom patterns!

<Finally, time to stroll through Asakusa!>

The 'Kaminarimon' gate, a famous landmark of Asakusa is a 3 minute walk from the shop. This time I enjoyed free walking but I also recommend the 'location photo service' where a guide takes more than 100 pictures of you while providing information about famous landmarks in Asakusa (1 person 5000 yen/hour).

I took pictures up and down 'Nakamise Street' from the Kaminarimon gate to Sensoji Temple while shopping.

This is a picture with the famous 'Tokyo Sky Tree' in the background was taken on Azumabashi Bridge, 3 minutes from Kaminarimon gate.

Before you leave the shop, ask for information about Japanese gardens or other atmospheric locations to take pictures in.

What makes this kimono experience special for guests is that it gives them a chance to 'feel like a star'. Even when doing this report, a rush of tourists ran up to other members of the staff in kimono and me yelling, "Let's take a picture together!" It was just like being a Hollywood star everywhere we went. Feel like a star in Japanese kimono! I hope all visitors to Tokyo can also enjoy this experience.

※All prices are from April, 2014 and include tax (8% sales tax).

306 Funaki Bldg., Kaminarimon 2-9-8, Taito-ku, Tokyo. Ph. 090-5465-6904  Hours: 8am - 5pm (Kimono return is 5pm for simple plan and basic plan, and 1 hour after rental for luxury plan.) No scheduled holidays. 
Directions:3 minutes on foot from Tokyo Metro, Ginza Line, Toei-Asakusa Line, Asakusa Station Exit. A4. 7 minutes on foot from Tobu Sky Tree Line Asakusa Station.
※We speak English and Korean!
※All kimono rental plans include: 1 full kimono set, tabi, zori, a bag, hairpins, and simple accessories. http://www.sakuraphotokimono.com/