Culture

Unique Kimono Experience in Japan

If you're looking for a cultural experience in Japan, why not include a kimono(着物) wearing session in your itinerary?

Experience a kimono session that’s like no other with unique stylist Michael Yui.

Neo Kimono stylist Michael Yui

Michael Yui

Michael studied kitsuke(着付け), or the traditional method of dressing kimono, and worked as a kitsuke-shi (kimono dresser) for over 8 years. She then began to work as a stylist, suggesting fashionable, everyday easy-to-wear ways of wearing kimonos. Having studied abroad, she's fluent in English as well.

So what sets Michael's kimono style apart from all the others?

The Yui Style: East-Meets-West Mix

Michael is an expert at mixing kimono into everyday, normal fashion. She wears shirts and skirts under kimonos instead of a juban (a layer worn under kimonos), and swaps zori sandals for boots and pumps. Throwing hats and accessories into the mix, she creates a unique, East-meets-West style.

Learn How to Dress Yourself

In most cases, professional kimono dressers will help you get dressed-- but Michael teaches you how to dress yourself from the very basics. Her interesting stories about kimonos and Japanese households will help you gain an even deeper understanding of not only kimono, but also other aspects of Japanese culture.

An Eco-Friendly Experience

Engawa Sumida

Kimono dressing lessons are held near the Tokyo Sky Tree at a retro thrift shop called Engawa Sumida. Every kimono at this store has been donated from across the country. Kimonos can be passed down for many generations when kept in good condition, making it an eco-friendly fashion.

Walking Around Shitamachi (Old Town) of Tokyo

Once you're dressed up, you'll have a chance to walk around Tokyo's shitamachi (old town) neighborhood of Sumida to see traditional spots unknown to even the locals. There are soba restaurants, factories where kimonos are dyed, old-fashioned cafes, homemade bakeries, residences for geishas (women who entertain guests with various Japanese arts), and Shinto shrines...

Take a short break at a shop known for its sakuramochi(桜餅), or "cherry blossom mochi"-- a traditional Japanese sweets made of cherry blossom leaves, sticky rice, and sweet red ban paste. Between the salted cherry blossom leaf lays a thin, white mochi filled with red bean. The saltiness of the leaf and the light sweetness of the red bean is match made in heaven.

You'll end the tour at a shrine with a photography session in front of the shrine gates. Take a moment to take pictures of yourself in a kimono with a traditional backdrop.


A tour of Japan's shitamachi neighborhood while wearing modern and unique kimono style is sure to leave you with unforgettable memories! 

Engawa Sumida

Address: 4 Chome-30-14 Mukojima, Sumida City, Tokyo 131-0033
Access: 7 minutes by walking from Oshiage Station(押上駅) A3 exit
Register here: https://www.michael-yui.com/

You can find more informations about Japanese Traditional Clothes Guide on this article.

Yiping Wu

Author