I love kimono at any time of the year, but especially in the spring when the cherry blossoms are popping. My daughter, Rei, is away at university overseas most of the year, but she was recently back in Japan for a short break. I wanted to do something special together on her last day at home, and so what could be better than a mother-daughter outing wearing kimono?
Our morning began at the Kimono Queen salon, located on the fourth floor of the Imperial Hotel Plaza. Just like the name suggests, the staff at Kimono Queen are dedicated to making every client feel like a queen (or a king) for the day.
© Photo by Louise Kittaka
Fit for a Queen
The Kimono Queen owner is Toshie Takahashi, who was inspired by her late mother’s love of kimono to open her shop. “My mom collected kimono. Her last wish was to tell lots of people about the merits of high-quality kimono, regardless of their nationality,” she says. Now Toshie is working to make her mother’s dream a reality.
I’ve experienced dressing up in rental kimono aimed squarely at the tourist market, but Kimono Queen is different. Along with their international clients, they also cater to many Japanese customers who want to dress up for special occasions, and the beautiful kimono can be worn with pride to a Japanese wedding or formal party.
Choosing our kimono
After being welcomed with chocolates and tea, it was time to look at the kimono. In keeping with the spring motif, Rei chose a yellow-hued kimono, while I went with coral. Getting dressed up in a formal kimono takes a little bit of time and patience, and Toshie holds her staff to a high standard of presentation. It’s all in …continue reading