Kyoto is one of my favourite city and I strongly recommend it to everyone who have never visited this part of Japan! One of the reason why I like this area is probably because of the countless temples and unique shrines, which makes this part of Japan very “traditional”. It is the complete opposite of busy and modern Tokyo. Sadly, Kyoto and also Osaka became a very frequently visited touristic destination. Kyoto is now flooded with Chinese tour groups (along with Thai, Korean and many others), since Japan changed their visa requirement for nearby Asian nations.
After our shopping trip in Tokyo, we wanted to spend some days in Kyoto before heading to Osaka. If you do not want to book an accommodation in Kyoto (it can be very pricy, depending on the timing – especially during Sakura season!!), you can easily plan Kyoto as a day trip from Osaka. When you are planning to visit Kyoto during spring time, I can highly recommend you some (tourist-free) locations that I listed up in my past blog post. Feel free to check it out.
So I have been many times to Kyoto, but I never wrote about all the touristy things that you can do, so I listed them all up in this blog post. I wanted to make our Kyoto experience exceptional, so we stayed at a super nice and traditional apartment and my highlight was the soft bed and the mini bath on the verandah (since my boyfriend has tattoos, it is not easy to visit hot springs). You can find the details about our accommodation below.
Speaking about Kyoto, you will find quite a lot of people wearing the traditional clothing called Kimono. It was always a dream of mine to wear a Kimono in Kyoto and visit the Fushimi Inari Taisha and I could finally fulfill my dream! It is not difficult to find a Kimono rental shop in Kyoto, but let me share you my experience that I made with Yumeyakata. The shop is located 18min (by foot) from Kyoto main station, not that far away from Kiyomizu-Gojo station. I decided to book my plan here, because I have read some very good reviews about this rental shop and it is also “Gaijin-friendly”, which means they have English speaking staff, if you are worried about the communication. Online reservation is not required, but if you do so, you will get more discount if you book your plan in advance. The best thing is, that Yumeyakata not only offers Kimonos, but other than that, they also have different summer styles, Furisode, Yukata, Hakama and many more different options for kids, families, pairs, ladies and gentlemen! I almost booked a photo shooting lol. The rental fee for one day was around ¥ 3’000 per person and for this price, you will get the whole Kimono outfit, a traditional handbag, some Zōri (flat and thronged Japanese sandals) and the tabi socks, which you could take home for free. I added the hairstyling option as an extra for ¥ 1’500 (option only available for ladies).
The whole process took around 1.5h~ (it depends on the plan you have and how quickly you can choose your Kimono). So we basically arrived at the Kimono rental shop at the booked time and went through following steps:
Step 1: Check-in
Step 2: Pick your Kimono
Step 3: Get dressed (separate floor for Women/Men). Make sure to use the restroom before having the Kimono put on!
Step 4: Choose your bag (you can leave all your non-valuable belongings at the store)
Step 5: Hair-Styling and/or Make-Up (only for Women)
Step 6: Wander through Kyoto in a Kimono (you can return the Kimono until 19:30)
They had a lot of beautiful Kimonos, so I was overwhelmed by too many choices! My boyfriend picked a blue one and I went for a red one. The staff will help you to get dressed, so we didn’t have to do anything special than standing still. After having changed the clothes, we could choose a matching traditional handbag and afterwards, my bf was waiting for me until I got finished with my hairstyling. The lovely staff made me a pretty updo hair style and we were finally ready to stroll around Kyoto!! There are many beautiful places in Kyoto, but I had the urge to take pictures at the Fushimi Inari Shrine and its thousands of vermilion torii gates. As I already mentioned, there is a station called Kiyomizu-Gojo just next to Yumeyakata, so you can directly take the train to Fushimi-Inari station within 10min. All in all, we were very happy with our experience that we made at Yumeyakata, everything went smooth from the selection, dressing, hairstyling and returning and it was definitely a nice memory that I will never forget. Renting a Kimono is a great thing and I absolutely recommend it to give it a try with friends, with family, with your partner or even if you are alone!
Things to do in Kyoto
Temple & Shrines
- Fushimi-Inari Taisha Shrine
- Kinkaku-ji: The Golden Pavilion
- Kiyomizu-dera Temple
- Sanjūsangen-dō Temple
- Kyoto Imperial Palace
- Nishi Honganji Temple
- Nijo Castle
- Monkey Park
- Arashiyama (Bamboo Grove)
- Kyoto City Zoo
- Kyoto Tower
- Mt. Kurama & Hot Springs
- Nishiki Market (delicious treats, handmade traditional crafts, ceramics, textiles, and more)
- Kyoto National Museum
- Samurai & Ninja Museum
- Kyoto Railway Museum
- Kyoto Museum of Art
- Gekkeikan Okura Sake Museum
- Kyoto International Manga Museum
Fun Things to do
- Kimono/Yukata Rental (@ Yumeyakata Kyoto)
- Oiran Shooting (@ Esperanto Kokoro Okazaki Studio)
- Samurai Training or Ninja Style Costume (@ Samurai & Ninja Museum)
- Enjoy a rickshaw tour through Kyoto
- Visit the world’s first tatami Starbucks!
Tsumugi Matsubarasaki-Machi, Kyoto (紡 松原堺町)
285-6 Sugiyacho, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto, 600-8078, Japan
Japan, 〒600-8103 Kyoto, Shimogyo Ward, Shiogamacho, 353 豊彩 ビル
10:00 – 17:30
Kimono Rental Plan ¥2’800 x 2 ¥5’600
Woman and Man Paired Discount ¥50 x 2 ¥100
Long & Short 8 Hairstyles (Accessories/Makeup not included – just for ladies) ¥1’500
Amount ¥ 7’000
tax 8% ¥ 560
Amount with tax ¥ 7’560 (2 persons)