Stroll through retro Kyoto! Experience a time slip with kimono rental

This recommended article is filled with tips for enjoying a retro stroll that will let you experience Kyoto’s history and tradition and feel like you’ve traveled back in time to the scenery of yesteryear. Why not spend an unforgettable time while immersing yourself in the retro charm of Kyoto while dressing up with a kimono rental?

A retro street corner tour that gives you a sense of the times

Kyoto is full of street corners that give you a sense of history. Here, we will introduce recommended spots where you can enjoy the retro scenery unique to Kyoto while walking through the cobblestone streets and old townscapes. It’s a place with a nostalgic atmosphere, and you’ll look even better walking around wearing a kimono.


・Retro teahouse district of Pontocho
Pontocho, Kyoto’s red-light district, is an area with a retro teahouse district. The Edo period remains here, and the stone-paved streets have an atmosphere of the past. Walking around Pontocho wearing a kimono will make you feel as if you have traveled back in time. There are many traditional teahouses and restaurants, and you can enjoy the retro atmosphere unique to the ancient capital of Kyoto.


・Historic shopping street of Aoikoji
Aoi Koji is a historic shopping street located in the center of Kyoto. Here, there are long-established stores that have been around since the Edo period, as well as retro general stores that retain the vestiges of the Showa period. Especially in the evening, the entire city is bathed in warm lights, and walking around in a kimono is a beautiful sight that seems to transcend time. There are also restaurants and Japanese sweets shops scattered throughout the area, where you can enjoy traditional flavors.


・Emotional alley of Hanamikoji
Hanamikoji is an area filled with alleys filled with the atmosphere of an ancient capital. The stone-paved path is a popular cherry blossom viewing spot during the cherry blossom season. You can enjoy the unique atmosphere of Kyoto all year round, and the autumn leaves are especially beautiful. Wearing a kimono and walking leisurely through Hanamikoji, you will feel as if you are inside a classic picture scroll.


・Good old townscape of Gion Shinbashi
Gion Shinbashi is one of the areas in the Gion area that still retains its old townscape. With its traditional wooden buildings and cobblestone streets, a walk here will make you feel like you’re in the rays of time. By walking around Gion Shinbashi wearing a kimono, you can feel the history first-hand and experience the traditional scenery.


・Fantastic atmosphere of Higashiyama Hanatoro
Higashiyama Hanatoro is an event held in spring and autumn that enhances the beauty of the ancient capital. Thousands of lanterns are lit, and the entire path is bathed in beautiful light.

Treasure hunt at vintage shops

Part of the fun is searching for treasures at vintage shops to match the retro atmosphere. Here, we will introduce you to stylish moments at Kyoto’s hidden vintage shops and old folk house cafes. If you visit in kimono, you’ll feel even more nostalgic.


・Treasure trove of vintage kimonos “Kyoto Jiku”
“Kyoto Jiku” is a shop that specializes in kimonos among the vintage shops scattered throughout Kyoto. Beautiful kimonos from the Showa and Meiji eras are lined up here, and each piece gives you a sense of the times. At Kyoto Jiku, which can be called a sacred place for kimono lovers, you are sure to find kimonos with unusual patterns and elaborate embroidery. The staff at the store are very knowledgeable about kimonos and will give you advice on how to wear them.


・”Kojinmari” of vintage furniture and antique miscellaneous goods
Kojinmari is a small shop that sells antique goods and vintage furniture. The store is filled with items that give off a nostalgic atmosphere, such as Showa era furniture, retro tableware, and watches. The interior of the store has an atmosphere that makes you feel like you’ve traveled back in time, and if you come in wearing a kimono, you’ll have the chance to encounter wonderful items that you can incorporate into your own living space.


・Old house cafe “Chacha Cafe”
“Chacha Cafe” is an old folk cafe with a vintage atmosphere. Here, the traditional architecture and furnishings are still intact, giving visitors a feel of the way Japan lived in the past. At the cafe, you can enjoy seasonal Japanese sweets and matcha, and spend a relaxing time surrounded by a vintage atmosphere.


・Vintage accessory shop “Ancient Capital Jewelry”
“Ancient Capital Jewelry” is a shop specializing in antique art and vintage accessories. We have a lineup of antique rings, necklaces, and Japanese-style accessories, and by adding these as accents to your kimono, you can create an even more gorgeous impression. The shop’s staff are knowledgeable about the stories and history behind the products, and will tell you the appeal of your favorite accessories.


・”Hydrangea Kobo” where you can enjoy retro miscellaneous goods
“Hydrangea Kobo” is a shop located in Kyoto where you can enjoy vintage miscellaneous goods. Here, posters, magazines, art, etc. from the Showa era are lined up, and you can find your favorite item among them. We also recommend taking photos with vintage miscellaneous goods to match the atmosphere of the store.

Visiting historical buildings with a Showa-era feel

Kyoto is also dotted with historical buildings built during the Showa period. Here, we will introduce you to the fun of visiting temples, shrines, and retro buildings with a Showa-era feel, and taking pictures in kimono along with their history. The retro atmosphere will stand out even more.


・”Kitayama Tenmangu” where you can feel the atmosphere of the early Showa era
Kitayama Tenmangu Shrine is a shrine built in the early Showa period and has a historical atmosphere. The pine trees and stone lanterns along the approach give it a Showa-era feel, and the main shrine within the precincts is dignified and dignified. Wearing a kimono and walking along the historic approach to the shrine, you will feel as if you have traveled back in time to the Showa era. You can experience a special moment in history while receiving amulets and stamps.


・Retro shopping street “Gion Shinbashi”
Gion Shinbashi is a shopping street with a strong Showa atmosphere, lined with retro Showa buildings and signboards. Here, you can enjoy the atmosphere of an old Japanese-style restaurant, a traditional coffee shop, and a Japanese sweets shop. Walking around in a rental kimono will make you feel like you’ve wandered into a Showa-era joy town. There are many small shops in the back alleys that give you a Showa era feel, so feel free to walk around and feel like you’re exploring.


・Retro cafe “Cafe Showa”
“Cafe Showa” is a quaint cafe that recreates the cafe culture of the Showa era. The interior of the store is decorated with Showa era furniture and miscellaneous goods, giving it a nostalgic Showa atmosphere. The menu includes the standard cakes and snacks that were common in Showa cafes, and when you visit wearing a rental kimono, you will feel as if you have wandered into a Showa cafe. Please take a break here and soak in the Showa era atmosphere.


・Showa modern garden “Okazaki Park”
“Okazaki Park” is known as a modern Showa era garden. The garden is beautifully arranged with Western-style architecture from the early Showa period and plants that retain the atmosphere of the time. While strolling through the garden, you can think about the history of the Showa era. Especially during the cherry blossom season, the elegant atmosphere of the Showa era combined with the beauty of the cherry blossoms will provide you with an exceptional time.


・Retro movie theater “Kyoto Minami Kaikan”
“Kyoto Minami Kaikan” is a movie theater with a retro Showa era atmosphere. From the outside, you can smell the Showa era, and when you step inside, you can feel the atmosphere of an old-fashioned movie theater. We also recommend checking the movie screening schedule and watching Showa era masterpieces and nostalgic films. If you’re a movie buff, enjoy watching a movie at a Showa-era movie theater while wearing a rental kimono.

Handmade experience with traditional craft lessons

We also recommend experiencing traditional crafts unique to Kyoto as part of your retro stroll. Here we introduce places where you can take traditional craft lessons and items you can make yourself. You will be able to enjoy the retro atmosphere by wearing traditional crafts that you have made yourself.


・Kyoto tenugui hand-dying experience
“Kyoto tenugui” is one of the representative traditional crafts of Japan, and its hand-dyed technique has a unique beauty. Kyoto is dotted with workshops where you can experience hand-dying tenugui. You can learn how to dye tenugui from a professional craftsman and create your own design. Tenugui can be used in everyday life, and you can experience Kyoto’s traditions while making them.


・Traditional tea utensils made in pottery class
Kyoto is one of the centers of Japanese pottery, and many traditional tea utensils and tableware are made there. In the pottery class, you can make traditional tea bowls, teapots, vases, etc. with your own hands under the guidance of a professional potter.While learning how to use clay and glaze, and painting techniques, you can create your own works. Let’s create it. After the work is fired, you can take it home as a souvenir.


・Production of hand-painted folding fans with traditional patterns
Fans are traditional Japanese accessories that are decorated with various patterns and designs. In Kyoto, there are places where you can try making folding fans with traditional hand-painted patterns. A professional craftsman will teach you how to create your own fan using brushes and paints. Fans can be used as props to cool off, and they are also attractive as handmade items.


・Learn gold leaf crafting techniques
Kyoto is also famous for its production of gold leaf, and gold leaf work is one of the beautiful traditional crafts. At a workshop where you can handcraft accessories and decorations using gold leaf, you will learn how to apply gold leaf and create patterns from the craftsmen. The sparkle of gold leaf creates a special atmosphere, and the handmade accessories are perfect as souvenirs and gifts.


・Pressed flower art workshop
At the pressed flower art workshop, which takes advantage of Kyoto’s beautiful nature, you can make traditional paintings and accessories using flowers and leaves. Works that incorporate Kyoto’s seasonal flowers create beautiful art that harmonizes nature and tradition. At the workshop, you will learn how to select plants, learn how to press flowers, and create your own art.


Author of this article


Waplus Yasaka Shrine store staff

Ayana Ogawa

We would like to help many customers smile through kimono rental.
I love spending time listening to customer requests and proposing kimono coordination and deciding on hair styles!
I am particularly good at hair styling, so please leave it to me to create the currently popular feminine hair.
I'll make it look cute!
My hobbies are music, movies, and shopping!
Please come and visit Waplus Kyoto!
We will suggest cute coordination!