While preparing a walking tour in the Kagurazaka district of Tokyo yesterday, we discovered by chance the beautiful shop Kimono-hanabusa selling kimono fabrics near Iidabashi station.
The shop staff kindly showed us fabrics of many colours and patterns to tailor winter kimonos, even opening drawers to reveal out-of-season fabrics for summer kimonos. The kimono fabrics were light, soft, pleasant to touch, and made the faintest sounds; the fabrics designed for the hot and humid Japanese summers contained tiny holes to lighten the fabric and let air flow. These few minutes of explanation (in Japanese language) were pleasant and quite interesting.
Making traditional Japanese clothes “kimono” remains a big business all over Japan, not just in Kyoto. Geisha/maiko and the female staff of Japanese inns “ryokan” typically wear a kimono every day. Many ordinary Japanese girls/women and a few foreigners also wear a kimono in everyday life or during a special event: Coming of Age Day (20 y.o.), one’s Shinto wedding ceremony, somebody else’s wedding ceremony (Shinto or not), a Japanese tea ceremony, a iaido practice (Japanese martial art with a sword)…
If you stay in Japan for several weeks and can afford it, you can even get your own tailored kimono dress in Kagurazaka!
- Kimono-hanabusa = きもの英.
- Kimono = 着物.
- Kagurazaka = 神楽坂, Tokyo = 東京, Iidabashi station = 飯田橋駅 (Iidabashi-eki).