“On the Tokyo subway,
Sounds of rushing wind,
Random kimono sighting”
Have you ever had a dream country which you’ve held dear in your heart? For me, that would be Japan. This is a country which I’ve been dying to go for the longest time. In my previous management consulting days, I travel extensively where I’ve worked and lived in many parts of Asia Pacific (China, South Korea, Hong Kong, etc.), and yet somehow, never Japan (!) ಠ_ಠ
There also seemed to be plenty of reasons as to why it was never a ‘right’ time to just go on my own. All this now sounds foolish when I breathed in Tokyo’s air of early spring in the last days of March this year and see my first kimono right in front of me (｡♥‿♥｡). Since kimono isn’t worn as daily wear anymore, I had fun playing a small game of kimono-spotting as I explored Tokyo. 😀
1. At Shinjuku train station
2. At Shinjuku Gyoen (park)
3. At Hakone-Yumoto shops
4. At Tenseien ryokan (inn), Hakone
5. At the food stalls of Ueno & Asakusa
Want to know more about kimono? Here are some resources you can start with:
Naomicosplay has a pretty good gallery with explanations of the various types of kimono worn in the past and present.
Kimono Nagoya‘s daily reviews of new (and very pretty!) kimono designs with prices and product descriptions will have you reaching for your purse and asking where to buy that dream piece (must… resist… !)
The New York Times shares a fascinating interview of the kimono maker shop Chiso with its rich legacy since their establishment in 1555 (wow!). Their price tags of ¥380,000 to ¥10 million (~US$3,900 to US$103,000) may have you reaching for your pain pills instead when you realize their beautiful designs are out of your reach.
Geisha Moments curates beautiful photos of geisha – their kimono, paraphernalia, environment – and Japanese traditional culture. This Facebook Page is updated many times daily so you’ll be seeing many awesome pictures of traditional Japan in your News Feed.
Liza Dalby‘s book Kimono is a meticulously researched and lovingly written account of the evolution of kimono to its present form. This was the book that I cut my teeth on all about kimono and I still enjoy re-reading it every now and then.
Lastly, ever wanted to know what’s the difference between yukata (casual unlined robe usually worn during summer) and kimono? Eikyô Magazine provides this easy visual comparison 🙂
Still feeling very cultural? Then let’s have a peep at a completely different tradition in The Nine Emperor Gods Festival & Its Psychedelically Cute Turtle Buns!
Or complete your kimono mood with cats. Why? Because cute cats go well with everything. They just do – Purrrrr-fectly Good Times at Tom’s (Cat) Cafe, Hongdae
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