It was in the middle of autum 2012. It will also be my last autumn in Japan. I will return to my country by the beginning of next year. Having heard that, Yukako-san, my Japanese friend, had an interesting idea. “Why don’t we do something fun together this autumn, before you leave Japan?”, asked Yukako-san.
She said again, “Let’s experience Japanese traditional kimono and enjoy strolling around Asakusa area!”. She also invited my wife to join the fun.
I have been many times scrolling around Asakusa area. But, I never wear kimono in that place. So, of course, it is an interesting idea! We had a deal !
Then we met at Asakusa train station. It was raining at that day, but we hope the rain will over soon as we wear the kimono. Yukako-san guided us to a small kimono rental shop near Senso-ji Temple. An old lady (Obaa-san), kindly welcomed us into her shop.
After taking my coat, Yukako-san and my wife went upstairs to choose and try the kimono. As for me, she asked me to choose the perfect kimono that I felt like. Well, there are not much choices of color for men’s kimono. They all come in basic color, black, dark, and grey. So I chose the light grey one.
Now, it’s time to wear it. It easier said than done, though. Obaa-san asked me to wear layer of layer of kimono. It was really difficult and tight. She asked me also to go to toilet first, since it will be very difficult to go there when I am in kimono !!!
After we are all dressed up, we were able to walk around Asakusa. Yukako-san wore a red kimono, and my wife in a gold-yellow kimono. We went to the Senso-ji, street of Asakusa, around the temple, stopped there and took some pictures.
We also had the fun time of having our pictures taken by foreign tourists in the streets of Asakusa. They thought I am the last samurai, since they saw me as a foreigner with kimono (LoL … I wish). Anyway, having our pictures taken by many people, we felt like celebrity.
When lunch time is coming, Yukako-san took us to an old tempura restaurant. She said that the restaurant is hundred years old restaurant. It used to be the restaurant for the samurai. Hmm, entering the restaurant, we felt like samurai family in Edo Period.
The tempura came in a combo bowl. Very big, but absolutely delicious. Ittadakimasu!
After lunch, then it’s photo time again. Yukako-san took an O-mikuji at the temple. O-mikuji is random fortunes written on strips of paper at Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples in Japan. She randomly chose one strip of paper from a box, hoping for the resulting fortune to be good. “How is it?” I asked. “Aha, it was a good fortune!“, said Yukako-san.
Congratulations. Let’s hope a good future ahead for her.
At the end of the day, renting a kimono and strolling in it was an incredible experience. It was also a great idea!
What better way to experience authentic Japanese culture and elegance? Wearing kimono, scrolling around Japanese old district, and also accompanied by a beautiful Japanese woman.
What more can I ask?