Despite the much-lamented decline of the kimono, a garment once worn by samurai, aristocracy and labourers alike, it is still possible to spot clusters of society ladies shuffling through Tokyo’s throng of dull grey suits in vividly motiffed and coloured kimonos. And as you would visit a tailor for a suit, so must you visit Ginza Motoji for a kimono... or considering the time of year, its light and breezy summer sibling, the yukata.
Ginza Motoji boasts three Tokyo stores, all dotted along the same street in the upmarket Ginza district, which cater separately to men and women, while the third exhibits an exquisite array of fabrics depicting seasonal scenes and delicately abstract patterns. Brighter colours are reserved for young women, while mature ladies wear subdued tones with subtle motifs, and so the womenswear is divided accordingly into Waori, for traditional hand-woven and hand-dyed pongee, and Wasen, for a colourful and contemporary range popular with the younger style set. Otoko no Kimono is home to the sleek men’s range, while its neighbour Gallery Izumi is a platform for fabric designers to display their artwork and offers a great opportunity to learn about this dying tradition, even if you don’t want to buy. Kimono-ver, what are you waiting for!