IRL Adventures| That Time I Wore a Kimono

IRL Adventures| That Time I Wore a Kimono

Why hello there BAYOG Fam! I’m still on vacation, but here’s a Real People Stuffs post for you from Past Minty! While I’m off traveling, I figured that I’d schedule a post about one of my previous adventures!

I’m sure we’re all somewhat familiar with the kimono. After all, it’s an iconic type of Japanese clothing. Just about every manga and anime has had an event that required a kimono. You’ve seen it in movies and dramas too. Again, it’s iconic. When people think of Japan, the kimono is one of the first things that they think of.

First off, I love traveling. I love culture. I absolutely adore cultural wear. So of course it was on my bucket list to try wearing a kimono one day. March 2017 was when they was finally going to happen. So like I said in my [Nara Post], I finally took a trip to Japan in March 2017 with some friends. It was basically our bucket list adventure. We’re all manga/anime fans. My bestie is half Japanese, and I was so interested in experiencing a different culture. So we made sure we wanted to experience as many bucket list items as possible. Not only that, this was supposed to be a very special trip. You see, my bestie’s then-boyfriend (now husband) had planned to propose to her during the trip. As the best friend, I was enlisted to help plan and carry out his plan. It was supposed to be a surprise proposal. However, as the bestie and a girl, I knew I had to make sure my bestie looked amazing. So I convinced her to rent and dress up in kimonos to check it off our bucket list. It was an easy and the least suspicious way to get her to look extra pretty for her special moment.

So the day we planned this was March 12, 2017. My bestie seemed most excited for Kyoto. So we planned on doing the kimono rental there. We decided to do it after our morning trip to play with the deer in Nara. We also chose Kyoto because it is known for it’s traditional vibe and aesthetics. So we thought it’d be a good place to take pictures too. There were aloooot of different places to rent kimonos, including from our Airbnb host.

Here we are at Wargo after getting dolled up

We decided on renting our kimonos from [Wargo Kyoto Kimono Rental]. I’d researched it and booked online it well before our trip. We chose it for 3 reasons.
Convenience. They have multiple locations. However, they had a location in the same building as the Kyoto Tower. It was basically right next to Kyoto Station and near where we were staying.
-Foreigner Friendly. Their website is really detailed, and foreigner friendly. Meaning that they have basically all of the information in English. Everything is explained in detail and is easy to understand. They tell you the packages you can choose from, how much they cost, and what’s included. You can also preview the styles of kimono you can choose from! Super simple. Again, you can also easily reserve everything online.
-Pretty AF. We also went with Wargo because they seemed to have more options to choose from. You have the standard, premium, or high end kimonos to choose from. Their website lets you view the different designs you can pick from. We just felt like these had the prettiest options.

I told my bestie we chose the premium plan, but I chose the high-end one. I paid for the whole thing because I really wanted her to look like a pretty princess for her special moment~ Anyway, the high-end kimonos are obviously the higher quality kimonos. As are the obi sashes and the collar. The inner collar is nicer and had a design to it, as opposed to the plain one for the standard kimono plan.

Our friend (my bestie’s now sister-in-law) chose the standard plan. For both plans the dressing and a hair accessory was included. However, hair styling was also included for the high-end (and premium) plans! The sandals and bags are also included. Anyways, you could reserve a specific kimono online, or you can choose one at the store. The kimono is nice is that it’s more kind of free-sized. However, they do obviously need wider kimonos for the larger ladies. So a fair warning, you may have less choices to choose from.

To give you an idea of the dressing process

The kimono is so incredibly beautiful. I loved the designs and the simplicity, but at the same time the intricacy it had as well. However, there are things that you may not realize. There are alot of layers and steps involved when wearing a kimono. You have to wear everything in a specific way. It also needs to be done in a certain way. That’s why the several staff members help you get dressed. I think it took us about 30-40 minutes to get dressed.

Please excuse my triple chin and swollen I am…I was sick Q~Q

Another major thing you may not realize: the ideal beauty of the kimono is a straight form. Beauty ideals vary in different cultures and parts of the world. In Japan, the straight figure and form of the kimono is what is seen as beautiful and ideal. So bigger and curvy ladies, y’all will experience the same extra step I had. I do not fall into your stereotypical Asian body type. I’m a fat big girl. I’m also more top heavy than most Asian girls. In other words: I probably was not the right size or body shape for this lol. Have no fear though. That doesn’t mean that you can’t wear a kimono. They basically wrapped a bunch of towels around me. This was to help hide my curves/lumps, and achieve a straighter looking figure and form in the kimono. Did it work? Yes. However, they wrapped me in so many towels that I actually couldn’t bend down… More on that in a second.

We went around the city a bit. Mostly to look for a spot for the proposal to take place. We were aiming on finding cherry blossoms. Unfortunately we came a tad early. However, I was told some spots in Kyoto might have some. So we were going around lots of places around the area. However, I will say those sandals were not made for alot of walking. So some people may find it uncomfortable. I should also mention that when we went to Japan, the weather was quite cold for us native Floridians; We’re South Floridians too. The entire time we were in Japan the weather was between 25-45°F. However, the kimonos kept us comfortably warm. All the layers kept us nice and warm, but it didn’t feel too hot. It was really just our hands, necks, and faces that felt the cold.

Surprisingly, we were stopped multiple times by other tourists. I say surprisingly because Kyoto is a city that’s known for many people wearing kimonos everyday. It’s not really a rare sight. However, so many people stopped us and asked to take pictures of us. We even had two entire tour groups ask for our picture??? One group was of some students on a trip from the States, most of whom where Asian-American. They were super sweet.

The other group was a French-Canadian tour group. Despite us not looking Japanese and speaking American English with them, they thought we were locals. Someone thought we were geishas. That was just…

Eventually we did find a spot with some pretty blossoming flowers. They weren’t cherry blossoms, but they were pretty and good enough. As for the end, it worked out. She obviously cried and said yes. I cried, and we were all happy.

Feverish and nauseous, sadly

However, this whole time I wasn’t feeling well. See, I was already sick since the morning when we were in Nara. I caught a cold and started having a fever. I took Advil and seemed to feel better. However, I noticed I was feeling worse and worse after we started wearing the kimono. Here’s the thing, I think kimonos are pretty comfy. They don’t feel as restrictive as wearing some other types of clothing. However, I noticed that this one was making me feel pretty sick. Remember how I said I was wrapped in a bunch of towels? I guess I had been wrapped up so many times. I also had the undergarment sash and the obi sash. Because I’m a larger gal, they tried they’re best to tie it more properly to fit me. However, I guess it was a bit too tight. It actually ended up making me feel super constricted in my waist. I think it was restricting my circulation a bit, and it was causing me to get indigestion. I started feeling super nauseous. I tried to trudge on, but I couldn’t So After the proposal we tried to explore a bit more, but decided I should return the kimono and get some rest.

At Arashiyama…You can’t tell that I’m dying inside… I called it quits after this.

It was a bit sad. I actually did enjoy wearing it. I definitely plan on doing this again. Despite being sick, I enjoyed the experience alot. I learned alot from it too. I was surprised because there was alot of major points that I didn’t know before! Although, next time I’ll let them know not to wrap it too tight… Have you tried on an actual kimono before? What was your experience?~

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