Before I started working at my school in Korea, I had to go to Japan to get my work visa for Korea. I simply took the KTX to Busan and then the ferry over to Fukuoka, only 3 hours away from the Korean mainland by ferryboat. Besides dealing with visa business, I was able to explore Japanese culture – what better way to do that than getting dressed in a traditional kimono by a local kimono master?
If you want to know what else you can do in Fukuoka, check out my previous post!
Where To Rent
Since I had never been to Japan before, I simply googled “kimono in Fukuoka” and was brought to a site called “Fukuoka Walks” and their kimono experience. It’s basically a company that organizes all kinds of different tours and experience in Fukuoka. The website and company seemed pretty professional and so I sent a message inquiry about a kimono experience for the day after.
They offer two different types of kimono programs depending on season:
- Summer: Yukata dress up, including dressing, Yukata, Obi (belt), Tabi (socks), Zori (Sandals), and bag.
- All other seasons (from October to May): Kimono dress up, including dressing, Kimono, Obi (belt), Tabi (socks), Zori (Sandals), and bag.
You are able to do the kimono/yukata experience every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday
except for a few days indicated on the program calendar on their website. You should also check out their Facebook page for more information about the kimono experience and other tour options.
The Experience in Detail
The price for the experience is 3,500 yen ($30) for women and 4,000 yen ($32) for men. The whole experience takes 3 hours (usually 12:00 PM-3:00 PM), 20-30 minutes of which is the actual dressing up in the kimono or yukata of your choice. Their studio is a few minutes walk from the famous Kawabata street and Kushida Shrine.
They have a couple of beautiful pieces to choose from – but it doesn’t stop there. You also get a few hair pieces, kimono socks, shoes and a handbag.
After dressing, you can take a couple of picture at their “studio” (which is more like a studio apartment transformed into an “office”) with different accessories like umbrella or fan.
Then, you can enjoy a walk around the nearby Hakata area where you should visit the famous Kushida shrine and other temples to take unique photos of you in the kimono.
After coming back to the studio, you will be served Japanese green tea and traditional rice cake for free! Make sure you bring Japanese Yen in cash only to pay for the program the same day.
Reactions from Locals and Tourists
Be prepared for stares when walking around the Hakata area in your kimono or yukata! Both locals and tourists alike positively acknowledges me wearing a kimono. Some of them even took pictures of and with me!
However, you will see other tourists or locals walking around the area in a kimono as well, so don’t feel weird!
Value for Money
I really have to say that I am so glad I did the program. The kimono master and staff from Fukuoka Walks are the best! They were very welcoming and I felt as if I knew them for 20 years. They speak English very well, especially the owner Makoto. Don’t hesitate to ask questions about the kimono and its origin – they’re so happy to inform you all about it!
After dressing up, Makoto went around Hakata with me to take pictures for me since I came alone. That was such a nice thing to do! Therefore, don’t worry if you want to wear kimono but you’re alone – Fukuoka Walks will help you with your pictures! Makoto also told me so much historical and cultural facts while out and walking around in kimono! It basically was a 2-in-1 kimono and sightseeing experience!
The kimono program was the most memorable thing I did in Fukuoka and I will remember it forever.
- It’s inexpensive,
- so much fun,
- absolutely memorable
- and the staff is excellent!
Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity if you are in Fukuoka or in another city in Japan! Pin it xo