Japan has some of the world’s most unique and intriguing customs and traditions. The best way in which you can learn more about its fascinating history and become fully immersed in its culture is to experience wearing a kimono. If you’re looking for the best kimono rental in Tokyo, look no further than Kyoto Kimono Rental Wargo!
Kyoto Kimono Rental Wargo
Address: Tokyo-to Taitoh-ku Asakusa 1-41-8 Atelier Building 1F, 2F
Phone Number: 075-600-2830
English Website: https://kyotokimono-rental.com/en/asakusa/asakusa-access/asakusa
Despite its confusing name, Wargo does have locations all across Japan, not just in Kyoto. What’s special about them is that they offer a wide variety of kimonos ranging from the simplest summer yukatas (summer cotton kimonos) to extravagant antique and Mamechiyo designs.
Upon my arrival, I was taken aback by how gorgeous their kimonos are. The shop isn’t big but the choices are endless with rows and rows of vivid colors and lovely fine silks. I simply couldn’t decide!
Their kimonos are organized by style and price. No matter your budget, there’s something for everyone.
Looking to rent a kimono in Tokyo with your family? Rental options for men and children are available as well!
And of course, to complete the whole look, you get to choose your own obi (belt) and hair ornament.
Making an Online Reservation
In order to make sure you get the best possible kimono experience in Tokyo, it is highly encouraged that you book in advance on their website. Note that cherry blossom and autumn seasons are their two busiest months. It’s especially important that you book early during those times!
Which Plan to Choose
Wargo has various plans ranging from ¥2,900 (~$33 CAD/$25 USD) to ¥14,900 (~$172 CAD/$131 USD) price points. Regular kimonos tend to be more affordable, whereas formal kimonos like furisodes cost a little more to rent.
Picking the Date & Time
Once you pick a date and store location, their online booking system will display all available time slots. Rentals run from 9:00AM to 5:00PM, and the numbers in the cells represent how many bookings are left. I.e. if it shows 9, it means there are 9 remaining bookings available.
Don’t forget to check the hairstyling option if you would like to get your hair done. If you end up changing your mind about your plan or hairdo, you can make changes on the day of.
Arriving for Your Appointment
Apart from bringing an ID, there is no need to bring anything extra for your appointment. Simply plan to get there a few minutes early. That way, you don’t feel rushed.
Choosing a Kimono
After checking in, you are left alone to pick your own garment – which I really enjoyed. I was able to browse freely and didn’t feel pressured with someone looking over my shoulder. When I couldn’t make my choice, I then asked for suggestions and the staff were extremely helpful and friendly. I somehow ended up practicing my Japanese the whole time, but they do speak English and Chinese.
When making your booking online, you have the option to reserve a kimono as well. Although it’s not guaranteed that you will 100% get the kimono of your liking, this will save you a little time on the day of if you’re on a tight schedule. (Keep in mind this part of their website is offered in Japanese only.)
You can of course browse around the actual shop in person too, which I opted to do. It’s always nice to see things up close rather than on a computer screen. Plus, you get to actually feel the different fabrics!
When I arrived, this ravishing green and purple piece on the left definitely caught my attention right away. I asked the staff for recommendations on what color/style would suit me and they suggested this one too along with the beautiful salmon color one on the right. It was for sure a struggle choosing between the two, and I recommend giving yourself some extra time in case you can’t make up your mind.
After you’ve chosen a kimono of your liking, Wargo’s specialists will help you get dressed. A kimono actually consists of quite a few layers of clothing so be sure to wear something comfy underneath. (E.g. a tank top and leggings or cotton shorties.) If you intend on renting a light colored kimono, stay away from wearing dark clothes underneath, as the colors may peek through.
On their website, the estimated rental process is about an hour. I didn’t exactly time everything, but the dressing part alone felt like a good 30 minutes at least. Again, leave enough time in your schedule to avoid feeling rushed.
Tip: Remember to use the bathroom beforehand!
Optional: Getting Your Hair Done
As mentioned above, you have the option of getting your hair done by Wargo’s stylist team. (I personally chose to get mine done for the complete authentic look.) Below are their rates.
After you’re all dolled up, you can get your photo taken at their professional photo studio. Prices and additional information can be found on their website. OR, f you’re feeling extra, Wargo offers outdoor photo sessions as well. Complete rates here.
My verdict – what makes this the ultimate kimono rental in Tokyo?
When I was researching on where to rent kimonos in Tokyo, I found Wargo via Google search and I couldn’t be happier with my decision to rent from them.
Friendly Staff & Comfortable Setting
From when I stepped foot into their store, I felt a warm hospitality. I can’t stress enough how friendly and professional their team is. The dressing area made me feel very comfortable and they were extremely meticulous in making sure I had the best kimono experience in Tokyo.
The number one thing I want to highlight is the amount of care and attention they put into dressing their guests and in creating the perfect obi bow in the back. I previously rented with a separate company in Kyoto. Because I couldn’t see my back at the time I got dressed, I didn’t realize that my obi and a few other spots were quite wrinkled and bulky. (I looked like Michelin Man in my pictures and it was NOT a cute look lol.) At Wargo, I didn’t have this issue at all. Everything was in place and very flat, very smooth. There were several knots tied to keep all the layers together, but overall they didn’t cause much discomfort. (If it’s your first time wearing a kimono, you might not be used to how tight everything is. Just keep that in mind.)
Really Cute Kimono Designs
I mean, I’m pretty sure the photos speak for themselves.
While I was strolling the streets of Asakusa, I got so many compliments from local obachans who really liked the print and color of my kimono. And to my surprise, I was also approached by tourists who thought I was a local and asked if they could take pictures with me. At one point I was completely surrounded and people were lining up for photos like I was some famous celebrity. It was wild!
Again, the location I visited was in Asakusa, Toyko just 3 minutes away from the famous Sensoji Temple by foot.
In Japan, it is traditionally considered “sexy” for women to take small steps when they walk. That said, a kimono can restrict your movement and limit how big of a stride you take. This definitely takes some getting used to if this is your first time wearing a kimono, which is is why the Asakusa location is fantastic. It’s conveniently located in the heart of all the action and you aren’t required to walk as much. I’m really not exaggerating when I say this is the best kimono rental in Tokyo.
Awesome Gifts to Take Home
Unfortunately, Wargo does not offer kimonos for sale. However, they do have a section in the store for umbrellas. These are inspired by kimono prints and come in portable, foldable forms as well as full-size lengths. Talk about the perfect omiyage (souvenir)!
And that concludes today’s post!
If you’re looking to wear a kimono in Tokyo, definitely book an appointment with Wargo. I can guarantee that you won’t regret it and you’ll make memories of a lifetime.
And pst, if you haven’t booked your hotel yet, here are some tips for where to stay in Tokyo.
Don’t forget to check out my Japan vlog for more footage on this wonderful kimono rental experience in Tokyo and I’ll see you in the next post!