When in Kyoto, do what many others do: Rent a kimono or yukata and spend the day strolling the sights in it. As if that weren't enough, think of the photo opportunities! Sure, Kyoto is not the only place with kimono rentals; there are kimono rental shops in Tokyo, too, and in many other tourist destinations in Japan as well. But Kyoto is the most popular place to rent a kimono, and there are lots of options. Fortunately, many shops now offer convenient online booking, so you can plan ahead. But how to choose the shop, and the package? This being Japan, no matter which shop you pick, you're sure to get excellent service. But there are some things to consider. Which is why we've pulled together everything you need do know about renting a kimono in Kyoto, plus our recommendations for the best value rental shops and photo spots. What to know before renting a kimono There are a few things to keep in mind when renting a kimono or yukata in Kyoto, or anywhere else in Japan: Kimono rental should include a fitting and the necessary items like undergarments, belt, shoes, socks, and more. Hair accessories and hairstyling are often extra. During Kyoto's hot and humid summers, you can rent a yukata (a colorful and lightweight, kimono-like cotton robe) instead. Package costs depend on a few things, such as the quality of the kimono (or yukata), the length of the rental period, and the inclusion of any extras like accessories, hairstyling, or photo shoots. Leaving your original clothes or belongings at the rental space is a sort of deposit guaranteeing that you\u2019ll return. However, some places do also request an additional deposit against theft or damages (beyond a little reasonable wear and tear). Reservations offer not only a guaranteed slot but often discounts too, so we recommend you make one, and avoid being late. The first slot of the day (usually 9 to 10 a.m.) often costs extra, as this is the most popular slot (so you get maximum kimono time). The surcharge can range from to , but is always clearly indicated. Kimono glossary Know your geta from your z\u014dri? Familiarize yourself with the lingo, to be sure of what you're getting. Some of the different components of a kimono (or yukata) kit: Obi: The wide belt or sash worn around a kimono or yukata. Haori: Traditional kimono jacket, sort of like a hip- or thigh-length over-kimono. Tabi: White socks worn with a kimono, but not usually with a yukata. Geta: Raised wooden platform flip-flops, usually worn with yukata. Z\u014dri: More formal sandals worn with kimono, flatter and traditionally made from laquered wood or rice straw. Kanzashi: Decorative hair pin, often with ornamental flowers. Bangasa: Traditional rain umbrella, made of sturdy, oiled washi (traditional Japanese paper) and bamboo. Best value Kyoto kimono rental shops Here are our recommendations for kimono rental stores that offer some serious bang for your buck. Looking to spot some genuine Geisha? Read up on our best tips to see them IRL. 1. Wakana: For the boutique experience Gion From Book here Wakana, located in the heart of Gion -- Kyoto's largest hanamachi (geisha district) -- has a beautiful selection of made-in-Kyoto kimono, including ones made of pure silk. The staff of professional dressers can help you pick out the perfect, coordinated look; only two groups are fitted per hour, so you're sure to get a personal experience. You can also book additional services, for an extra cost, including hair and make-up as well as a professional photoshoot. A casual kimono plan starts at , which includes the kimono, obi, socks, and geta. There is also a couple's plan available for and kid's kimono rental for . Rentals must be returned by 6 p.m. on the same day, or the next day for an extra . 2. Yumeyakata: For the full package Near Goj\u014d Station From Book here Yumeyakata is one of the more well-known names for kimono rental in Kyoto. They have English and Chinese-speaking staff on hand, so reservations and fittings are easy, especially if you have questions. There are over 500 kimono designs to choose from. Basic kimono and yukata plans start at , or with hair-styling included. But there are also some interesting premium packages if you want to take it up a notch. For example, they offer furisode -- the kimono with the long, dramatic sleeves worn on Coming of Age Day. This costs with hairstyling included. There is also an option to add on a 2- or 3-hour professional photo shoot at one of three iconic Kyoto locations: Higashiyama, Arashiyama, or the grounds of Bishamon-d\u014d Temple. These packages start at for up to four people. You can return your kimono by 5:30 p.m. on the day of your rental. 3. Kyoto Kimono Rental Rei: For a simple and straightforward approach Gion From Kyoto Kimono Rental Rei is another kimono rental shop located in Gion. They have a really simple and straightforward rental plan that will have you dressed and looking fantastic in no time at all. After picking your kimono, you'll be professionally dressed and viola, you're on your way. Of course, if you'd like to splurge a little, you can add a hair or make-up package. Or, if you'd like a fancier kimono that's an option too. Kyoto Kimono Rental Rei has English- and Chinese-speaking staff, and you don't have to return your kimono until 6 p.m. They even have a service where you can hire a professional photographer or exclusive tour guide to show you around the best spots in the area. 4. Maikoya: For a tea ceremony and kimono wearing experience Nakagyo Ward From If you'd like to do something more than just wondering around in a kimono, this is the experience for you. After picking out your kimono Maikoya's expert staff will help you get dressed. For the ladies, a simple hair and make-up package is included, so you'll be looking your absolute best. Then, it's time for the tea ceremony. You'll learn about Japanese history and the tradition behind tea ceremonies. Under the guidance of the tea master, you'll make your own matcha green tea and enjoy it alongside some wagashi (traditional Japanese sweets). 5. Wargo: For no extra fees Multiple locations From One of the largest kimono rental options in Japan, Wargo has seven stores just in Kyoto and a selection of around 4,000 kimono (plus 3,000 yukata) from which to choose. You can choose your kimono and the professional staff will help you get dressed. The basic package includes a kimono, obi, clutch bag, sandals, and socks. Hairstyling can be added for an extra fee. Walk-ins are accepted. Return your kimono up to 30-minutes before the stop's closing time (exact closing time varies between shops). Alternatively, you can extend your rental period until the following day for an additional . 6. Yume Kyoto: For easy returns Gion From Book here Yume Kyoto is a small, personable shop with a great location: next to Yasaka Shrine in Gion. Plans run between and ; with the cheapest plan, you leave the kimono selection up to the staff -- which might be the best way to go anyway! Staff speak fluent English, Chinese, and Taiwanese. Hairstyling from a professional stylist costs an extra . There are no couples' or kids' packages, but there is a men's package for . For extra convenience, there is an option to return your kimono to the front desk at your hotel (by 10 a.m. the following day) for an extra . This means wherever you end up for the day, you can just return to your accommodation and change -- without having to make a trip back to the shop. Otherwise, rentals should be returned to the shop by 6 p.m. on the day (or by 4 p.m. the following day for an extra ). As an extra bonus, the first 20 interested customers can opt for a short photo shoot at nearby Yasaka Shrine for just . 7. Ky\u014detsu: For the a varierty of plans to choose from Kawaramachi, Arashiyama, and Kiyomizu From Book here Ky\u014detsu has a wide variety of kimono plans, with the most basic coming it at just . The plans are priced according to the style of the kimono: the basic plan kimono have simple designs; an upgrade of gets you more variety to choose from, including trendy ones and antique kimono. Middle and high-school students can get any of the packages for . Couples' plans cost , while kimono rentals for kids cost . Standard hair styling is an additional , if you want to go for something more unique you can opt for retro looking hair style for or a custom one for . This shop also offers a B.Y.O package for and up, if you have your own kimono or yukata. The rental return time is 6 p.m. for each store. You can keep the items until 4 p.m. the following day for an additional . Cancelations are free until the day before your reservation, after which you may be charged a cancelation fee. Same-day reservations should be made by phone. 8. Okamoto: For the best selection Multiple locations From Book here Okamoto has been around since 1830 and claims to be the first to offer kimono rentals for sightseers. They're a smoothly run operation with English-, Korean- and Chinese-language support. But the big draw here is the selection: Each shop has over 1,000 kimono and yukata to choose from. The most popular package is the mix-and-match "full outfit" one, which gives you access to all of the different kimono styles plus pretty embroidered under kimono (as well as extra long kimono for tall customers) and lots of accessories. That plan costs , but there are cheaper plans too. There are men's package from and children\u2019s from . Hairstyling is also available, starting at . Items must be returned by 5:30 p.m. on the same day, or you can pre-arrange to return them by 5 p.m. the following day for free (but it does require a deposit). Where to go for kimono photo shoots in Kyoto You will want to make the most of your time and hit up all the best spots. To start with, here are the top places to visit in the city, including the famous Kiyomizudera Temple and Fushimi Inari Taisha. If you have a couple of days then be sure to check out our guide to the east side of the city, which covers Gion, and our guide to the west side -- that's the where you'll find Arashiyama and its famous bamboo grove. Frequently asked questions How much does it cost to rent a kimono in Kyoto? Most kimono rental places start at about for a simple kimono and can easily go up to . What's the difference between kimono and yukata? The main difference between the two is the material used, kimono are made out of silk whereas a yukata is made with cotton. Yukatas tend to have shorter sleeves as well, making them better for summer. While we do our best to ensure it\u2019s correct, information is subject to change. This post was first published in 2015. Last updated in October 2023. Prices and other information subject to change. Hat tip to Tiffany for her contribution on Yumeyakata.