Have you ever wanted to wear a Kimono and do a professional – somehow unique – photo shooting? The Esperanto Kokoro Studio makes your dream come true! A friend recommended this studio and the pictures looked truly beautiful. They have several plans – if you want to do a nostalgic modern Kimono shooting, choose the Kokohime plan. If you want to go further, choose the Oiran Shooting (that’s what I did). For your information; an Oiran is not an ordinary Maiko (apprentice Geisha) or Geisha. Oiran were high-ranking courtesans in Japan – a ‘woman of pleasure’, which literally means prostitute. But I honestly have to say, the whole outfit, make-up and appearance was definitely exclusive. I booked an appointment online (don’t worry, the reservation form is in English). Since we were planning to stay in Osaka/Kyoto for some days, we booked the Okazaki Studio in Kyoto. There is another Esperanto Studio in Tokyo (Kokoro Minami Aoyama Studio). We chose the Oiran A Plan for 18’500 Yen/person with the Gold booth, which includes 3 printed and edited photographs including the whole outfit, hair and make-up styling. The make-over and photo session took us about 2 hours. For additional 10’000 Yen, you can get all digital photography on a CD-R. It was super difficult for me to choose my favourite picture (cause they were all amazing) and since it was an one-time experience, it was worth the money and the right decision.
So how did everything work? Do they speak English? Do I have to worry about the posing? Can I wash my face after the shooting? Let me give you all these answers and share my experience with you! I recommend you to arrive on time without any make-up at the Studio. If you can’t go outside without make-up, don’t worry, there is a locker room with toilet, luggage storage locker, hairdryer, hair straightener, water tap as well as towels, make-up remover and face cream. Don’t forget to bring your own make-up with you, in case you want to put on your usual make-up after the shooting.
At the studio, they explained the whole program. I can’t tell you, how fluent their English is (cause we spoke Japanese), but I am sure they have someone who can help you since their page is available in English. First of all, we could choose our desired Kimono on an iPad. I went for a red one and my sister for a blue one. At the next step, they gave us something like a white haori, which you wear under the Kimono. At the locker room, you can get changed, (remove your make-up) and leave all your valuables at the locker. Feel free to take your phone or camera with you, you can takes some pictures during the make-over process, but not during the photo shooting. Please ask the staff, if it is ok for them, if you take any pictures. Everything went very fast, the make-up as well as the hair styling!! You can choose your favourite fake nails and the staff will ask you about your make-up wishes. After the make-over, you will be transferred to the next room, where the staff will help you get dressed with your selected Kimono. And then you go upstairs (carefully, try not to stand on the Kimono, it is quite long!) to the photo booth. There is a branded photo wall, where you can take pictures and selfies, while you are waiting for the shooting. The cameraman will call you, if it’s your turn.
You don’t have to be a photo professional or model for the shooting! The cameraman will guide you through the whole shooting and I really have to say that he did a fantastic job. They have a strict posing program and he tells you exactly how you have to lie and where you have to look at. After the shooting, you will go back to the room where the ladies did your make-up. They will help you to remove the hair pieces & accessories and you can give them back the fake nails. You can get dressed and remove the Oiran make-up at the locker room. At the end, you can choose your three favourite pictures (well, it depends on the plan) for the photo album. As you can imagine, it was super difficult cause every picture was my favourite lol. And as I already told you, we end up buying a CD to get all pictures digital. Last but not least, I have made amazing experience at the Studio, the staff was super friendly, the make-over went by super fast and the photo shooting was very easy thanks to the cameraman!! They all did a fantastic work and the service is really worth the money. Please do not hesitate to contact me, if you have any more questions!
Esperanto Kokoro Kyoto Okazaki Studio
53-37 Awadaguchi Toriicho, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto, 606-8436, Japan
09.00 – 20.00 (last entry 17.00)
Oiran from ¥18’500~
Kokoran from ¥13’500~
Chouhan from ¥18’500~
Kimono without Hakama Couple Plan from ¥28’500~
Hakama Couple Plan from ¥31’500~
Additional fee for prints/digital pictures
Check out my video ↓↓↓
This is Kamogawasodachi’s illustration!
I met the illustrator at the JapAniManga Night two years agoI recommend you to go to Higarashiyama Station,
it is only a few minutes by foot from there to the studioWe had breakfast somewhere (can’t remember the place)Here we are: Step one:
Choose your favourite KimonoNr. 14 was my choiceAnd Nr. 11 was my sister’s choiceLet’s start!
Hair styling firstand then the make-up My beautiful sister Close-up Waiting for my turn….Feel free to take selfies
(you can’t take any pictures during the shooting)Memories~ Removing the parts
Yes, that’s not real hair *g*There is a locker room with washbasin as well as
free towels, face cream & other facilities a girl needsFace and styling cream is available
Just don’t forget to bring your own make-upLeave a comment for the guest book! Some impressions~ And if you are in Kyoto anway,
don’t forget to explore the city!Kyoto is wonderful You can write your wish on a ‘Ema’ (plate) Oh, hi Totoro!
There was a Ghibli store in Kiyomizu