Let’s say you’re already back from your trip to Japan, but you didn’t have the time to get a kimono or yukata as a souvenir. Or you’re just window-shopping around the internet in search for a genuine Japanese kimono to get for yourself, or as a gift. In any case, we are here to give you some advice on where to buy the perfect and authentic Japanese kimono ensemble, what fees and prices to expect, and how to avoid scams. Please bear in mind that you have to do a bit of research on your own before purchasing a kimono – especially regarding the type of kimono you need, or the mandatory kimono accessories you need to wear.
After you’re done with your research, it’s time to find a place that sells genuine kimono. Here are our recommendations:
1. Kimono Yukata Market
Kimono Yukata Market is another great place to shop genuine kimono, yukata, and accessories. They sell various styles of kimono for women, men, and kids, but also special kimono display hangers and fabric. Much like any other Japanese wear retailer, their site will tell you pretty much everything you need to know about the types of kimono and the accessories to go with them. Price-wise, Kimono Yukata Market is really affordable – the average formal kimono costs around $70, and a long-sleeved one goes for around $170.
Shipping and fees: Kimono Yukata Market ships worldwide via Japan Post. Shipping and handling fee is calculated based on the weight of your package. The buyer bears the customs duty and other additional fees.
If you’re on a really tight budget, Ichiroya might be the shop for you. This store has an official website and an eBay account and is a Japanese family-owned business that sells used and vintage kimono. Their site might not offer you as much information as others we covered in this list, but when you can get a long-sleeved kimono in perfect condition for just $28, you can’t really ask for more.
Shipping and fees: Ichiroya ships worldwide and offers two shipping options: Express and Standard. They strongly recommend Express as those packages get a tracking number. Shipping varies according to the weight of the package and country of origin. You may be charged customs duty at the door.
3. Kimono Yukata Shop Hanabi
Yet another excellent place to shop for inexpensive kimono and yukata is Kimono Yukata Shop Hanabi. The store doesn’t offer too much information on how to wear and style a kimono though, so you might need to do your homework before going there to purchase. Their selection is not as overwhelming as that of Rakuten or Kimono Yukata Market, but the prices are really good – starting from around $60 for a women’s kimono. Another amazing this about this shop is that they offer free delivery worldwide, which will save you quite a bit of money.
Shipping and fees: Kimono Yukata Shop Hanabi offer worldwide free shipping. Packages are sent via Japan Post EMS. The only fees you might have to pay are the customs in your country!
Name: Kimono Yukata Shop Hanabi
Now that we went through four budget-friendly alternatives let’s look at some of the higher-grade kimono stores that ship overseas. Furifu is one of them. This shop offers in-house kimono designs that are more on the edgy streetwear style, so they are absolute hits with Tokyo fashionistas. Furifu has an official website and a Rakuten JP store where you can shop their designs online. You will have to use a forwarding service though, such as Tenso. As far as prices go – Furifu is not for the faint of heart. A kimono ensemble could very well send you back $3000 or even $5000, with a main piece usually going for $1300- $1700.
Shipping and fees: Furifu Rakuten only ships within Japan. The shipping is free, but you’ll have to pay the S&H fees of your package handling service of choice. Customs and duty may apply as well.
5. Jotaro Saito
Jotaro Saito is another popular kimono brand in Japan. Their designers also like to challenge traditional kimono cuts and patterns and are not afraid to incorporate unique fabrics like denim and jersey into their pieces. As opposed to Furifu, Jotaro Saito’s style is more toned down, and the colors are usually tamer – so it’s perfect for a more mature and classy style. However, the prices are still on the higher end of the spectrum, as a women’s kimono goes for $700 – $1000.
Shipping and fees: Jotaro Saito ships for a flat fee of 540 Yen throughout Japan. You would also need a shopping service to forward your package, so you’ll have to pay their S&H, plus customs and duty.
As you can see, shopping for Japanese kimono online is no rocket science. Nowadays, you can find both high-end designer kimono brands, and vintage or second-hand pieces online. All you have to do is know exactly what you’re looking for, and shop according to your budget – you don’t want to fall in love with a kimono that you can’t afford.
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