Kyoto definitely is one of the most culturally rich places in whole of Japan and, therefore, also one of the most touristic. Lots of Japanese (and Chinese) people stay there for a few days to explore the city and surroundings. Of course, I, too, didn't want to miss this beauty of a city! Please keep reading if you want to learn about my experiences ^^.
In Japan (and especially in Kyoto), when going out or going on a trip, it's pretty common for both women and men to wear a yukata for the day, (Very shortly explained, a yukata is a more casual version of the traditional Japanese Kimono).
Since a nice and good-quality yukata can be quite expensive, tourists in Kyoto often decide to rent one at kimono rental shops. There, you can pick a yukata, obi, bag and matching wooden slippers to wear in the morning, and return them the same day in the evening.
Since I absolutely adore kimonos and yukatas, I couldn't resist trying one as well.. (and well, when would I ever get the chance to experience Japan in this way ever again?!)
After I chose my yukata and obi a really sweet girl dressed me up and did my hair. I got my matching bag and slippers and was ready to go!
I felt really elegant and I think the light-colored print suited me well! ^^
By the way, it was around 35*C outside, so I was really happy I chose a summer yukata.. (I'd really advice to make sure your yukata is suited for the weather type you'll be wearing it in!
Though it was still pretty hot, the soft material of the yukata and the inner clothing made wearing it pretty comfortable.
Around 8:00 pm I decided to turn this wonderful yukata set back so I could have dinner in my normal, more comfortable, clothes (I didn't want to make any stains on the lent clothing of course!). Besides, I needed to go to the toilet as well and that really wouldn't have been an option if I was still fully dressed ;p.
Overall, I'm super happy I decided to give this a go! At first I was worried that maybe Japanese people would be a bit annoyed by a total foreigner 'trying to imitate the Japanese traditions' or something, but that really turned out not to be the case. I fact they really seemed love and appreciate it! I heard the word 'kawaii' that day a lot ^^.
Shopping and Hello Kitty Cafe
Although in Kyoto visiting sights and enjoying the amazing authentically Japanese atmosphere are highest priority, doing some little shopping can never hurt as well ;). Besides all the shops with traditional clothing, you can also find an Angelic Pretty, Metamorphose and a Baby the Stars Shine Bright there. In Kyoto I only visited the AP and Btssb (both in the same shopping mall called OPA in the center of Kyoto), but if you look at the map I made, you will find the Meta shop shown as well!
Click here to see a Google Maps with some interesting shops and Cafes to visit in Kyoto.
In the Btssb I met the sweetest and funniest shop girl Kazuki. Her English was pretty good and together we tried to translate (and made a little fun of hehe) the French names of some of the the dresses hanging in the store. At the end, we concluded that the Baby designers probably don't know much more French then we do :p.
Together with my parents, I also visited Kyoto's Hello Kitty Cafe. We got some really cutely decorated Latté and tea with candy ribbons, delicious! ^^
And of course I got to sit next to Hello Kitty haha :3!
All together, Kyoto does have quite some little things to offer to our lolita hearts, too!