Growing Demand for "Kimono Rental" in KyotoTargeting Young Women and Foreigners8 September 2014 - Business/Company
The demand for kimono rental has been increasing in Kyoto. This business is popular mainly among young women and foreign visitors, and kimono rental companies have been expanding their assortment and services. A kimono accessories trading company in the Muromachi area, Kyoto, is expecting kimono fans to increase.
Visitors thronged along the Kiyomizuzaka slope in Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto. Young couples and foreigners in kimono stand out from the crowd. A company employee visiting with her friend from Sakyo Ward, Kyoto, rented a fine-patterned kimono with a wisteria floral design from a shop. She smilingly said, "I've been longing to see my friends wearing kimono at the Gion Festival. I feel free."
According to the kimono accessories store "Okamoto," which runs a kimono rental business along the Kiyomizuzaka slope in Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, the number of customers has doubled in three years. Almost 200 people per day use this rental system on weekends.
The main clientele consists of young women and visitors from Taiwan and Hong Kong. The store also produces kimono in larger sizes for foreigners in-house. Furthermore, the Kodaiji shop, also in Higashiyama Ward, which just opened at the end of August, has pure-silk kimono as well as conventional polyester ones. Natsuki Okamoto, the store manager, said, "Many people are attracted to kimono, and the number of repeat customers has been increasing."
Amid an upsurge in Kyoto sightseeing, kimono rental has attracted much attention as a new market and the number of new businesses entering the market has been increasing.
The Kyoto textile wholesale trade association welcomes the new movement and said, "The increasing trend of kimono-clad people in Kyoto is also leading to expansion of the purchase level."(translated by Galileo, Inc.)