An unforgettable kimono lesson

I am a very spontaneous traveler.

I usually only make rough plans and then just follow the flow and decide what to do at the moment. But there's one thing I always wanna do in Kyoto- to walk on those nostalgic old streets in kinomo (和服). However, it didn't happen during my 4-day trip in Kyoto. It was such a big "zannen"(pity)!!

Nevertheless, when the window closed, the door opens.

Fushimiinari (伏見稻荷) was my next stop after Kyoto. After visiting the Japanese hero Sakamoto Ryoma (坂本龍馬) 's favorite hostel, Teradaya (寺田屋) in Fushimi (伏見), I was on my way back to the train station. As usual, I was wandering in a small lane of nowhere, a nice young lady in front of a Kimono shop stopped me and tried to introduce some yukada (summer kimono) to me. After few sentences small chat in Japanese, she recognized that I am not a Japanese. Her words became even more cordial.

Though she doesn't speak English, I understood that she wanted me to try on the yukaka (summer kimono) she picked for me.

Back then I was still in a huge trauma of not having a chance to try kimono in Kyoto. Her suggestion was too inviting to say no. I told her I don't have the budget for either a kimono or a yukata. She just kept saying "daijoubu daijoubu"(no problem, no problem).

She and another "oneesan"(senior sister) costumed me with a beautiful yukata, and teach me how to put it on by my own. Oneesan even showed me several youtube clips on how to wear yukata and kimono step by step. I didn't feel free to let them serve me like this, especially I didn't intend to buy anything from the shop. So after they took pictures of me, I told them "mou mou" (it's enough) and thanked them.

While the young lady helped me undress the yukata, oneesan went inside and came out with something breathtaking: a kimono!!

Again, they put kimono on me proficiently and explained every single details and meanings of the costume and accessories, eg, the long sleeves, the different patterns on the kimono, the meaning of the color, the flowers and the four seasons, etc.

In the end, they didn't ask me to buy anything. They even allowed me to take pictures in their shops freely....

I missed the train I should have taken, but it's totally worthy.

I was totally overwhelmed by their generosity and this extraordinary kimono lesson.