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kimono and yukata shopping in Kyoto

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16 posts
31 reviews
46 helpful votes
kimono and yukata shopping in Kyoto

We'll be in Japan next month on a 2 week guided tour. We will have 3 nights in Kyoto, and I've heard that this is the best place to shop for yukata and possibly kimono. Any suggestions for stores that have well made but not outrageously expensive ones?

I've also heard (can't remember the source) that Nara is known for its hand made folding fans. Is this true? Thanks for any help you can give.

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1,667 posts
27 reviews
66 helpful votes
1. Re: kimono and yukata shopping in Kyoto

Good quality kimono are outrageously expensive. You might be able to find cheaper second hand kimono or polyester kimono.

You usually see Yukata during Summer so you may not see a wide selection - there are also those aimed at tourists.

Dept stores always have a floor that sells kimono, yukata & accessories - zori, tabi, handbags,etc.

Hand-made fans are available all over Japan. Kyoto has several well known stores that make fans. Nara is more famous for uchiwa (round style) fans than folding ones but there are fan makers there: see links below http://www.naraexplorer.jp/shopping/tc.html :http://www.naraexplorer.jp/shopping/souvenirs.html

Virginia Beach...
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18 reviews
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2. Re: kimono and yukata shopping in Kyoto


Here is a prior post - hope it helps.

<<I've also purchased souvenirs at Nishijin Textile Center (www.nishijin.or.jp/eng/brochure/index.html), which is usually full of Chinese tourists, but has very affordably-priced yukata in beautiful patterns that ARE made in Japan. They do carry more expensive hand-loomed fabrics sold as remnants, runners, etc. >>

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285 helpful votes
3. Re: kimono and yukata shopping in Kyoto

I recently wrote a review for the Nishijin Textile Center. They had a fairly large selection of yukata in various materials (including children's yukata), and I bought several cotton yukata in gorgeous patterns accented in gold. There are also discount shops that sell yukata / kimono; I visited one in Kyoto that was in one of my guidebooks (can't remember the name), but I left unimpressed (and empty-handed) and ended up going back to Nishijin.

If you're looking for good-quality kimono, the upper-end department stores like Takashimaya have dedicated kimono floors (It's the fifth floor in the Kyoto Takashimaya). Keep in mind that a genuine high-quality silk kimono can easily run $5,000 and up, not to mention the various accessories that go with it (just the obi sashes are in the hundreds of dollars and up). It's fun to look (and I always visited the kimono floors at various Takashimayas around Japan), but I was happy enough taking home yukata.

Here are some examples from Takashimaya; with the current exchange rate, these run a little over $4,000: takashimaya.co.jp/shopping/…

The most beautiful kimono in my opinion is the uchikake, the heavy embroidered kimono worn by brides (from my understanding, most brides rent them rather than buy them because they are so expensive). You can find vintage ones around Kyoto at flea markets / shops at a discount (I've even seen a couple at the Kyoto Handicraft Center); I've heard of some people using them for display. Here's a photo: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Uchikake.jpg

I hadn't heard about fans in Nara, but I know that Gifu is famous for its paper lanterns and umbrellas...

Good luck!

Level Contributor
16 posts
31 reviews
46 helpful votes
4. Re: kimono and yukata shopping in Kyoto

Thank you all for your input. Looks like I will be making a visit to the Nishijin Textile Center to buy and probably the Takashimaya store to just look. I'll be quite happy with a couple of really nice yukata- I think my DH will put his food down if I go for a good silk komono. :)

5. Re: kimono and yukata shopping in Kyoto

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