As Tokyo Fashion Week is coming to an end in a few days, another kind of fashion week is happening on the other side of town, displaying more traditional styles: Tokyo Kimono Week.
You still have a few days to venture out to the shopping district of Nihonbashi in order to soak in some Japanese culture in the form of the intricate and gorgeous garment that is the kimono. The traditional piece of clothing comes in many colours and patterns, and can be worn by women, men and children.
Originally, “kimono” was the Japanese word for clothing. But in more recent years, the word has been used to refer specifically to traditional Japanese clothing. Kimonos as we know them today came into being during the Heian period (794-1192). The price tag of a kimono can be hefty, but scouring vintage shops and flea markets can reveal affordable treasures.
Until October 23, Tokyo Kimono Week is taking place in the shopping area of Nihonbashi, which features of a mix of traditional merchants and upscale department stores. Its early development is largely credited to the Mitsui family, who based their wholesaling business in Nihonbashi and developed Japan’s first department store, Mitsukoshi – one of the main sponsors of the event.
Don’t miss the runway show on Sunday morning, where kimono-clad men and women will strut the catwalk, also known as Nihonbashi Bridge. Formerly a wooden bridge, the Nihonbashi was reconstructed in stone during the Meiji Period, and was covered by an expressway in the 1960s. Nowadays it’s still quite beautiful and kimono wearers will be the perfect fit.
If you wish to be a part of the kimono crowd but don’t have one in your closet, you can rent one for ¥3000, and get help to put it on at the Yuito Building. Anyone wearing a kimono can have their photo taken for free by a professional photographer. Other events include a handful of participating shops and restaurants offering discounts and gifts.
A great way to spend a gorgeous outdoor October weekend, before it gets too chilly…
Tokyo Kimono Week (see detailed site here, Japanese only)
When: Until Oct. 23
Where: Various locations in the Nihonbashi district, around Nihonbashi station (see area map)
Main image: Bermi Ferrer (Flickr)