More stores in Japan’s ancient capital cities are now offering fully functional and fashionable hijabs to accommodate guests from all over the world

In recent years, Japan has seen an increase in Muslim-friendly establishments. These changes are most visible when it comes to food, with halal-certified restaurants popping up for ramen, curry, yakiniku, and even a menu at a karaoke joint. A newer trend, however, relates to the world of fashion and an increase in accommodations so that female Muslim visitors to Japan can experience wearing traditional Japanese kimono while still maintaining their chosen level of modesty.

A handful of kimono rental shops in the ancient Japanese capital cities of Kyoto and Nara are now offering specially-crafted hijab head scarves with a Japanese touch to complement kimono rentals. Previously, women pairing a hijab with their kimono had no choice but to continue wearing their own hijabs, which may or may not have matched the colors and patterns of their selected kimono. Now, however, they can select a hijab that was actually inspired by Japanese kimono designs. The hijabs are typically available either to rent for a day of sightseeing out on the town or to actually purchase and bring home as souvenirs.

Today we’ll be highlighting three such establishments in Kyoto and Nara that are now offering these Japanese-style hijabs. Spread the word if you or your Muslim friends have any plans to visit Japan and are interested in wearing kimono during your travels!

1. Yoshiya (Kyoto)

Nestled in Kyoto’s Arashiyama district known for its famed bamboo grove, this Kyoto staple boasts a first-floor gift shop and a halal-certified restaurant that is especially popular with foreign visitors. Yoshiya began selling its Japanese-style hijabs in the spring of 2016 when a senior member of management was touched to receive a handmade kimono-inspired hijab from a Muslim friend. That friend’s circle of friends also expressed a high level of interest in the creation and Yoshiya soon began selling them to meet the demand.

▼ Many of the hijab feature two layers–one of solid, colored fabric, and the other of patterned design.

The hijab are created using authentic Japanese materials such as plain silk and feature traditional Japanese “wagara” patterns inspired by kimono. Some of them are even fashioned from actual obi (kimono sashes), which adds a particularly dramatic flair.

Due to the presence of a halal-certified restaurant on the store premises, many women take the opportunity to showcase their new purchases at mealtime, as shown in the following photos:

Prices for hijab for purchase at Yoshiya begin at 7,000 yen (US$64).

2. Yumeyakata Goju-ten (Kyoto)

Yumeyakata, a kimono rental and fitting shop that offers a variety of different packages, just began offering Japanese-style hijabs in February 2019 after noticing an upsurge in visitors from Indonesia, Malaysia, and Middle Eastern countries over the past few years. A Muslim employee at the store can even help patrons select patterned hijab to match their rental kimono of choice when the selection becomes too overwhelming!

▼ Promotion for the new hijab lineup

The fabrics used to create the hijab at Yumeyakata are typically made from either cotton or polyester and are positively bursting with vibrant colors. The store anticipates expanding their hijab selection to approximately 50 different styles by the time summer rolls around.

▼ Another part of the motivation for the hijab was to provide women with a new opportunity to showcase their personalities through fashion.

Yumeyakata is currently in the midst of a special rental campaign (with a presently undetermined end date) during which visitors can add a hijab onto their kimono rental for only 300 yen (US$2.70).

3. Waplus Nara (Nara)

Waplus Nara is conveniently located near JR Nara Station in Japan’s even more ancient capital city, which is also famous for its wild but tame deer. They offer kimono rentals and fittings along with other traditional Japanese cultural experiences such as tea ceremonies or stage combat.

The Japanese-style hijabs have been available for rental or purchase since June 2017. Apparently one day a female Singaporean travel agent suggested that the store offer some matching hijabs to go with the rental kimono, and the rest was history. A unique aspect of Waplus Nara is that they also offer homemade brooches to fasten the hijab in place.

Check out the following video that some visitors made to commemorate their visit to Waplus Nara.

Also important to note is that the store offers a prayer space for Muslim patrons and the staff take great care in wearing gloves when helping both Muslim men and women put on their kimono in order to avoid any direct skin-to-skin contact.

Enjoy a few of the store’s custom looks below:

The Japanese-style hijabs at Waplus Nara can be requested as part of a kimono rental set for 3,500 yen or purchased on their own beginning at 4,000 yen.

Interested in more fashion that bridges the gap between traditional garb and modern subculture trends? Check out this Muslim Lolita fashion that we featured a while back.

Store information
Yoshiya / 良彌
Address: Kyoto-shi, Ukyo-ku, Sagatenryuji, Tsukurimichi-cho 31
Open: 9 AM-5:30 PM

Yumeyakata Goju-ten / 夢館五条店
Address: Kyoto-shi, Shimogyo-ku, Manjuji-cho 128
Open: 10 AM-7:30 PM (after May 11, closes at 6:30 PM)

Waplus Nara / わぷらす奈良
Address: Nara-shi, Aburasakajikata-cho 6-4, Kyo-Roman Building 2nd floor
奈良市油阪地方町6-4 京ろまんビル2階
Open: 10 AM-7 PM

Source: IT Media
Featured image: Facebook/Kyoto kimono rental Yumeyakata
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