Wearing Kimono for the first time in Hiji province - Waku Waku

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Wearing Kimono for the first time in Hiji province

Culture

Wearing Kimono for the first time in Hiji province

The very first time wearing Kimono taught me so much about the Japanese cultures and it was also such an experience that I would never forget.

Tớ là Nhi

Tớ là Nhi

Published on 12 May 2020, 12:00

When I was lucky to attend a cultural exchange event at the university, I went to Hiji province and experienced wearing Kimono for the first time.

About Hiji province

Hiji Province is a small city which only half an hour away from where I live. Walking through each street, watching the trees swaying in the wind, I was extremely excited because I knew that I would wear Kimono for the first time today. However, the weather was a little bad on that day due to the sprinkling of rain.

About Ninomaru Yakata store

The first point we stopped over in Hiji was Ninomaru Yukata store. It was a beautiful wooden house which has a traditional Japanese style with a bonsai garden in front of the yard. The smell of wood, soil, and plants combined with the coolness of the rainy day made me feel comfortable and peaceful. All were my first impressions about the store.

A front garden was a great place for
A front garden was a great place for "virtual living" photos

Ninomaru Yakata staffs were exceptionally hospitable and adorable. Though they were advanced in years, they had attached to the Kimono since childhood. Just by talking about how to wear a kimono, watching how they cherished each fabric or carefully selected each hair ornament, I felt the staffs in particular and Japanese people in general were always nourishing a such indescribable love to the tradition of wearing Kimono.

If one day you visit the store, never miss the opportunity to talk to them or the locals. I believe that you will know more about the interesting history and culture of Japan!
If one day you visit the store, never miss the opportunity to talk to them or the locals. I believe that you will know more about the interesting history and culture of Japan!

Choose the appropriate kimono

Because my hair was mixed in pink and black, I chose a pinkish and orange Kimono. They also said that brightly colored clothes like this were easy to lift the skin tone of the person, so this is a small tip for those who choose Kimono for the first time.

The patterns of the chosen Kimono were printed in the form of blades and slightly falling leaves which made me feel light like autumn. The winter had just set in so the weather was perfect for this. Don't you feel it? I was told that choosing a Kimono did not always need to be sophisticated. As long as you saw it, touched it, liked it and felt the energy coming from that Kimono, it would be definitely appropriate for you.

After choosing the Kimono, they showed me the obi (the abdomen) and instructed me to choose accordingly. Because the main color was orange, my obi was also orange. The highlight was a thin green rope, the color of leaves. They told me it looked really harmonious on me so I decided to choose that one too!

The Kimono I chose
The Kimono I chose

Wearing a Kimono was quite hard and required many stages. The staffs helped me put on one layer after another and I didn't even remember how many layers they were. But every of them were thin, light, and extremely smooth and creating a very comfortable feeling when wearing. Due to the thick layers, they also "wrapped" me with a lot of strings to keep everything in place. Indeed, it was then that I admired the old Japanese women when they were able to live and work while wearing many layers of clothes and getting wrapped around with so many strings.

Although it looked like there was only 1 white layer inside, actually there were countless ones...
Although it looked like there was only 1 white layer inside, actually there were countless ones...

Hair styling

After about 30 minutes of choosing and finishing wearing the Kimono, they very enthusiastically helped me with my hair. Hairdressing is an indispensable part to highlight the Kimono so if you are not good at buns or styling, do not hesitate to ask them to help! There were full clips, brooches, and buns so you guys don't need to prepare anything in advance!

My hair was pulled into a bun and adorned with cute little hair clips
My hair was pulled into a bun and adorned with cute little hair clips

Feelings after wearing a Kimono

As expected, wearing a Kimono didn't make me heavy but it was hard to walk around. I almost fell several times because I was not used to the tightness of the Kimono. The secrets on how to walk with ease in Kimono I was revealed by the staffs in Ninomaru Yakata were to keep your back straight, relax, and take small and gentle steps only.

Kimono shows the charm and femininity of Japanese women, so keep in mind to always loose yourself up, be a little more charming and appreciate what you are wearing!
Kimono shows the charm and femininity of Japanese women, so keep in mind to always loose yourself up, be a little more charming and appreciate what you are wearing!

Also, I was taught how to bow traditionally when still wearing Japanese Kimono! So don't be shy, talk a lot to learn new things.

Learn how to bow when wearing a Kimono
Learn how to bow when wearing a Kimono

Learn tea ceremony

In addition to the Kimono, Ninomaru Yakata store also offers tea ceremony experience, so don't miss it if you have time! Besides drinking tea and enjoying (very) sweet cakes, they taught us the rules and all sequential steps when attending a tea ceremony. I could not get surprised more by how precise and meticulous the Japanese were.

Tea ceremony session
Tea ceremony session

My experience with Kimono has ended here. My trip was organized by the school so all activities were free. The price to rent a Kimono here is ¥2,000 per day, not too expensive right? This experience has left me with a lot of good memories so I'm looking forward to coming to Hiji again one day!

I hope you guys enjoy my article and see you in the next post!

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Tớ là Nhi

Tớ là Nhi

Trust it and you can do it!

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