Kyoto KIMONO Passport: Discount For Wearing a Kimono?
Once you have come to Japan don’t you want to have the opportunity to try a kimono on? If your answer is yes, just read this article, we offer good news and special information for you. Photo: flickr.com
Kyoto City is trying to take actions for popularizing the culture of kimono in an initiative called Kyoto KIMONO Passport. It is a program that offers discounts and special services at more than 450 Shinto shrines, Buddhist temples and many other facilities for those who are wearing a kimono during sightseeing.
Step 1: How to get the passport
You can get the Kimono Passport by downloading and printing it out from the official webpage or you can show it directly using your Smartphone.
Step 2: How to use it?
Once you get the passport, go to a local kimono rental shop and get dressed up in kimono. The 4 shops listed below offer discounted prices and/or giveaways on kimono rentals by showing your Kimono Passport.
- Arashiyama area: Yumekyoto (夢京都) Arashiyama Branch, 10% off on kimono rental, Official Website
- Karasuma area: Kyogokoro (京ごころ), one giveaway of sundries for kimono, Official Website
- Around Yasaka Shrine: Hana Komachi(華こまち), 10% off on kimono rental & a giveaway of a Japanese style drawstring bag (called kinchaku), Official Website
- Around Gion area: Yumekyoto (夢京都) Gion Branch, 10% off on kimono rental, Official Website [margin_15b]
Once dressed up in kimono, you’re ready to start your kimono adventure. Kyoto City is dotted with cooperating facilities and restaurants where you can receive discounts by showing your Kimono Passport.
3 Best Offers You Should Try With Kyoto KIMONO Passport
1. Japanese candle painting (get 10% off)
For the first time in Kyoto, you can experience Japanese candle painting for 10% off the normal price.
Japanese candles are made from wax of the Japanese wax tree (called ha-ze) and its history is said to date back to as early as 1375. Compared to Western candles Japanese candles have stronger luminosity and they keep burning longer. Furthermore the flame of the Japanese candles flicker constantly even if there is no breeze. The shape of the flame is inconsistent, showing a different expression for each individual candle, creating a somehow mystic atmosphere. Since the ingredients are all natural, Japanese candles are friendly for the environment. They are very popular as relaxation items as well.
Your one and only Japanese candle is suitable as a souvenir.
The name of the shop: Nakamura Candles Takeda Branch (中村ローソク竹田店), Map
2. The Japanese Tea Ceremony Experience & Shop in their shop (get 10% off)
Tea ceremony’s main purpose is to treat guests with green tea (matcha), but it’s not all about the tea itself. The tea ceremony is connected deeply to Zen Buddhism and to the rise of the wabi-sabi (wah-bee sah-bee) spiritual culture. The word wabi-sabi derives from wabishii and sabishii, originally both meaning sadness and /or loneliness. The wabi-sabi is the representation of the aesthetic sense of the Japanese finding the beauty and contentment even in the imperfection and impermanency.
The way of tea (茶道 sadou) has another key concept namely ichi-go ichi-e (一期一会 meaning “one time, one meeting”) . It originates from the thought of the importance of treasuring every person, every meeting as it is a once-in-a-lifetime moment. By experiencing the way of the tea you have the chance of taking a look into the soul of the Japanese.
The name of the place: Bikouen (美好園), Map
3. Kyoto International Manga Museum (get 20% off from the entrance fee)
Manga is now one of the most famous aspects of Japanese culture and is popular around the world. Kyoto International Manga Museum was established in 2006 for conducting research on the culture of manga. The museum holds approximately 300,000 manga related materials from magazines of the Meiji era (1868-1912) to present- day manga works from inside and outside of Japan. 50,000 items of manga books are available for visitors to read freely on the so called Wall of Manga. In the museum you can find a touch screen type searching device too, where you can search for the titles using alphabets.
At the Manga Studio (Manga Koubouマンガ工房) section you can watch professional manga artists, see the process of manga creation from the initial pencil sketch to the finishing of a work. It’s a rare and great chance to see how manga is really made. Information: Map
Yet Another Pass! Yukata PASS Kyoto
Yukata is a traditional Japanese garment similar to kimono. In the past, it was a robe that was worn after taking a bath. Nowadays people mainly wear it during summer festivals or for firework festivals. Yukata clothing has fewer layers then that of kimono clothing so it feels cooler and it can be worn more casually.
There are facilities and restaurants in Kyoto City where you can still get special discounts by using the Kyoto KIMONO Passport even if you are wearing a yukata instead of a kimono. (Please check beforehand.)
Other than the Kyoto KIMONO Passport there is another similar pass called Yukata PASS Kyoto. You can get it at the yukata shop Yousai, Ltd. (the founder of the project) or at their partner companies and facilities where you can use their pass. This yukata shop sells about 20,000 to 30,000 yukata items and sundries, the largest number in Kyoto. In the pamphlet of Yukata PASS Kyoto you can find the list of participating shops and facilities and also read a manual on how to wear a yukata (available in English, Spanish, Chinese and Korean). With the help of this pamphlet you can take a yokata back home as a souvenir, and manage to wear it properly in your home country. Information: Map
For those who would like to have an authentic kimono or yukata experience and even get a discount while you are at it, Kyoto KIMONO Passport and Yukata PASS Kyoto are the perfect choices. Take back unforgettable memories from Kyoto, a city with 1200 years of history!