October 4, 2023

Kimono show in Kyoto

In the short time I spent in Kyoto, I made a pit stop at the Nishijin Textile Center, for a bit of shopping – I wanted to buy everything and finally bought a gorgeous sake cup set. I am thinking of using it as a shot glass! – and then their famous kimono fashion show (several times a day – timings on their page). It was a lovely experience watching these women walk on the small stage, pleasant smiles and elaborate hair-dos in place. And oh, those pretty pretty sashes (called obi). For the first time, I began to get a faint idea about the Japanese notion of beauty.

Actually, the word is not walked but sashayed – effortlessly in what seemed like constricting garments. And the traditional footwear for kimonos (called zori or geta) worn with white split toe socks called tabi was not elegant by any standard but worn by these women, it seemed a perfect accessory and only added to the ‘glide’ effect. I could not really tell the difference between the various kimonos displayed during the show – some did seem more ornate than others and were perhaps meant for different occasions or seasons. I wish there was some accompanying commentary to explain but in all, it was a fun fifteen minutes.

The obi – front and back views

And those gorgeous hair decorations

5 thoughts on “Kimono show in Kyoto

  1. nice post, Charu! the pics are lovely and the kimonos and obis absolutely beautiful!!! imagine having a show of all the different ways sarees are worn in India! wouldnt that capture eyeballs too?

    1. Anu, that’s a super idea! I don’t think there is any place where saris from different regions are brought together. And who knows, many of them may not even exist for future generations!

  2. Wow! Amazing pictures! Loved the colourful kimonos and the elaborate hair accessories.

    It was only a 15-minute show?

    Have you read the book Memoirs of a Geisha? These pictures reminded me of the book. Transported me to an entirely different world.

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