Gajoen offers over 2,500 kimono/accessory combinations for day-long experience, professional photography service available too.

As beautiful and as elegant as they can be, full-on formal kimono aren’t really the most practical garments for day-to-day apparel. Carefully arranging the various layers, ties, and sashes takes time and skill. The expensive embroidered fabric is most definitely not machine washable, and so not really the sort of thing you want to risk wearing in crowded places or public transportation, if you can avoid doing so.

The result is that formal kimono tend to be reserved for special times and places, and a new package from Hotel Gajoen Tokyo provides just that.

Located in Tokyo’s Meguro neighborhood, Gajoen bills itself as a “museum hotel.” In addition to a beautiful and expansive garden, the building houses numerous pieces of fine art and its historic Hundred-Step Staircase, decorated with painted ceilings and pictured above, has been designated a tangible cultural property by the city. In other words, it’s a perfect venue in which to wear a kimono.

The hotel is now offering a Retro Kimono Plan, which includes a kimono rental and fitting, hairstyling, admission to the Hundred-Step Staircase, and lunch or afternoon tea at one of the hotel’s restaurants. You can choose from 50 different kimono and 50 different obi (kimono sashes), all of which are representative of the Taisho period (1912-1926), which was characterized by bold designs more complex than what present-day designers are producing. The package also includes sandals, hair ornaments, and a bag to complete your retro look, with the total number of kimono/obi/accessory combinations numbering over 2,500.

Getting so photogenically dolled up is an involved process, so to let you enjoy the results as leisurely as possible the Retro Kimono Plan is a day-long activity. Kimono selection and fitting starts at 11:30 a.m., and you don’t need to return the garments until 8 that night. The hotel will hold any bags you don’t want to lug around with you and you’re allowed, and even encouraged, to leave the premises and explore nearby sites such as the Megurogawa River and local art galleries while dressed in your Taisho finery.

The plan is priced at 17,000 yen (US$137) for afternoon tea or 18,000 yen for a full lunch. Taking tons of photos is expected, and if you’d like some expert help, professional photography service can be added for an additional 5,500 yen.

The Retro Kimono Plan is scheduled for offer from April 16 to June 12, with reservations available on the hotel website here.

Source: Hotel Gajoen Tokyo, PR Times
Top image: PR Times
Insert images: PR Times, Hotel Gajoen Tokyo
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