Experience a cultural exchange unlike any other when you’re decked in a country’s national costume. Add an extra dimension to the landmarks, streets and people as you immerse yourself into local culture when on your travels. Don’t worry, you’re not expected to bring your own a kimono or hanbok, the traditional outfit rental industry has been mushrooming in recent years due to increasing popularity amongst tourists.
Here at Klook, we seek out the best rental experiences available so you can go out and discover the best a destination has to offer, hassle-free and knowing you’ve got a good price. Read on to get the full details on the best kimono and hanbok rental places in Japan and Korea.
Pick from a selection of around 30 delicate kimonos and have professional assistants show you the ropes of kimono wearing in Japan’s metropolis. Once you are dressed up and ready, a guide will take you on a stroll along the cosmopolitan streets of Asakusa and give you a comprehensive background of the Roppongi area.
Knowledgeable about Japanese history and culture, the guide will offer you cultural tidbits along the walk through the district. After the tour, continue to explore Tokyo at your own pace – some recommended places to visit would be:
- Sumida Park
A popular cherry blossom viewing spot in Spring, the park stretches along both sides of the Sumida River for a few hundred meters. It is a beautiful setting for kimono photo-taking regardless of the season.
- Rickshaw Ride in Asakusa
Hop on a traditional rickshaw ride to enjoy the city from a different angle. You will be able to visit famous landmarks and take photos as you enjoy the surrounding scenery of the nostalgic old streets all the way to the modern Tokyo Skytree.
Dressed the part as you walk the ancient streets of Kyoto in a traditional kimono. The historical atmosphere of the city will surround you whether you stroll around the Gion district (famed home of many geishas), the Fushimi Inari-Taisha shrine gates or the countless Japanese temples – what better way to explore the city than dressed in a delicate, colourful kimono.
You will be spoiled for choice with over 500 kimono designs and obi belts to customise your dream look. Not only that, go all out and complete the look with an intricate hairstyling service and other additional accessories. A couple of the best places to go and enjoy the natural beauty of the city once you’re decked out would be:
- Arashiyama Bamboo Grove
Consistently on the top of a traveller’s must-see list in Kyoto, the extensive bamboo grove stretches as far as the eye can see. Feel yourself being transported into another world as you stand in the midst of a completely unique forest.
- Rokuon-ji Temple
This traditional Japanese landmark has had its fair share of misfortune from war damage and arson but its scenery continues to be spectacular. Now recognised as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage, the temple was fully restored in 1987. The Kyoko-chi Pond is an impressive landmark that measures 60,600 square meters, the islands in the pond seem to have different shapes depending on the angle they are viewed from.
Explore the former imperial capital of Japan dressed in a traditional kimono for a day: book here.
Put on a traditional kimono and wooden clogs and go on a slow glide down the famous Yanagawa river with a traditionally dressed skipper. Explore the temples and other traditional landmarks in Fukuoka dressed in a traditional outfit of times gone by.
Adorn your hair with simple hair ornaments and other accessories that are available to rent for free along with your kimono. After getting dressing help from the professionals, you are free to roam around the city and take pictures to your heart’s content. A few places that you should check out are:
- Yanagawa River Cruise
The Yanagawa River is an attraction that you definitely should not miss while in Fukuoka. Cruise down the river as the skipper sings the rhymes of local Japanese poets while leisurely steering the boat – you’ll feel instantly transported back to the olden Edo and Meiji periods of Japan.
- Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine
Although the shrine typically draws students who are praying for academic success, Daizaifu Tenmangu is also a brilliant architectural beauty in Fukuoka. Dedicated to the great scholar Sugawara Michizane, the shrine compound contains two ponds and a bridge. Walk through the grounds that are filled with over 6,000 plum trees (ume) in your ornate kimono.
Explore the famous landmarks in Seoul wearing the beautiful Korean national costume, the hanbok. To sweeten the deal, you also receive special ‘hanbok benefits’ which entitle you to free admission or discounts in selected tourist attractions.
Choose from a wide variety of designs and sizes at a downtown location in the Jung-gu district of Seoul. Once you’ve selected your favourite hanbok, professional assistants will ensure the hanbok is properly fitted to your size. After that, head outdoors and take the opportunity the catch many memorable pictures on your vacation. Here are our top two picks for where to get those snaps:
- Gyeongbokgung Palace (Taegukgi-gil)
The largest of the five palaces in Seoul, Gyeongbokgung Palace is also widely considered as the most beautiful. Get free admission to the palace dressed in your hanbok and visit the palace buildings which have been around since the Joseon Dynasty. Note that the palace is closed on Tuesdays.
- Jongmyo Shrine
A place of worship for kings in the Joseon Dynasty, the Jongmyo Jaerye memorial service is said to be the oldest complete ceremony in the world. It is reenacted on the first Sunday of May with instruments, songs and dances that are over 500 years old. Free admission for visitors dressed in hanboks! The shrine is closed on Tuesdays.