Are Kimonos Cheap in Japan?

Kimonos are Japan’s national dress. These traditional garments wrap in the front with a T-shape and square sleeves.

Kimonos have been worn in Japan for thousands of years, with the left side always wrapped over the right unless the person has passed away.

There are cheap kimonos in Japan starting at 4,000 yen ($30 USD). These low-cost kimonos are quite basic in design and material, with the price going up for more complex designs and nicer materials.

The most luxurious kimonos cost around 200,000 yen ($1,530 USD).

Keep reading to discover all about cheap kimonos in Japan and how much you can expect to spend for a nice new kimono.

How much do kimonos cost in Japan?

Kimono

Like all types of clothing, costs vary based on the material, design, and manufacturer. The cheapest kimonos in Japan cost around 4,000 yen, making them similar to the price of a cheap $30 pair of jeans in the U.S.

Kimono prices increase from there, with the average kimono costing around 10,000 yen or $75 USD.

The fancier the kimono, the more it will cost, with some going for 200,000 yen or even more.

While these are the prices for new kimonos in Japan, there is also a large secondhand market where tourists and residents alike can scoop up previously-worn kimonos for as little as 2,000 yen or $15 USD.

What are cheap kimonos?

Kimonos are famous for cherry blossoms and similar floral designs, but the cheapest kimonos have quite basic colors and patterns.

With prices starting at 4,000 yen, cheap kimonos in Japan are still very beautiful and a great place to start for those looking to buy their first kimono.

Some of the cheapest kimonos are called yukatas, which are lightweight cotton kimonos for summer and more casual settings.

yukatas

You can wash a yukata over and over again and no lining is required, unlike a traditional kimono that needs a nagajuban underneath.

This white cotton undergarment should be visible only near the collar.

Other cheap kimonos are made of thicker materials but without the luxurious hand-stitching and natural dyes that can quickly push the price up.

Mass producers support the Japanese economy by making thousands of basic kimonos with cheap labor and materials, which keeps the cost to consumers down, too.

What are luxurious kimonos?

When looking at more luxurious kimonos in Japan, you could pay anywhere from 10,000 yen ($75 USD) for a cotton kimono to 200,000 yen ($1,530 USD) or higher for a sophisticated silk kimono.

There are also premium wool kimonos which cost around 32,000 yen ($250 USD).

Prices for a high-quality kimono vary by the material because some are easier and faster to work with than others.

Cotton can be produced more easily than silk kimonos, although silk is the most traditional material and a sign of status in Japanese society.

kimonos

Luxurious silk kimonos range from 100,000 to 200,000 yen ($800–$1,530 USD) on average. This price is so high because over 10,000 silk cocoons are needed to produce just one kimono.

Each cocoon is about the size of a baby’s finger, so as you can imagine, a lot of labor is involved.

How are kimonos made?

Large Japanese companies manufacture kimonos in the hundreds or thousands, while smaller boutiques hand stitch kimonos and make luxurious designs upon request.

With an ongoing demand for kimonos in Japan and many different manufacturers, there are both cheap and expensive kimonos to suit every taste and budget.

Regardless of the size or style, all kimonos are made using a long, narrow piece of cloth called a tanmono.

Western fabric bolts are becoming more popular, too. Each fabric piece measures around 38 feet (11.5 meters) long and 14 inches (36 cm) wide for women and 41 feet (12.5 meters) long and 17 inches (42 cm) wide for men.

The whole fabric is used to create the kimono, and any leftovers may be made into kimono linings and jackets.

The idea behind this construction is to ensure the entire kimono can be taken apart for easy cleaning and resewing.

entire kimono

Kimono producers also take care to prolong the garment lifespan by reversing sleeves and keeping seams uneven so they may be trimmed to fit different measurements.

Where can you buy kimonos in Japan?

Cheap kimonos are very popular in Japan, with many stores offering a selection of colors and styles.

Here are a few places where you can buy affordable kimonos in Japan:

  • Tansuya
  • Sakaeya
  • Ameyokocho
  • Yanaka Ginza
  • Rakuten
  • Ichiroya

Oftentimes, local markets are the best option for finding cheap kimonos in Japan. Local residents and visitors can explore a wide range of new and secondhand kimonos at sprawling markets, a signature feature of Japanese culture.

In addition to cheap kimonos, there are also custom-made orders that create beautiful, high-quality kimonos for special occasions.

kimonos for special occasions

Custom kimonos are available from smaller Japanese boutiques and retailers, coming at a cost of 50,000 yen ($380 USD) or more.

Can you buy kimonos in other countries?

While kimonos are well-known throughout the nation of Japan, you can buy kimonos in other countries, too.

The Japanese people are happy to share their culture with others, which is why there are kimonos available for sale in the U.S., U.K., and many more countries around the world.

The Kimono House NYC is one such example, as this dedicated boutique is run by Japanese owners who handle kimono sales and rentals.

Zara and Kimono USA are two other popular shops for buying kimonos in countries other than Japan.

In addition to kimono stores at brick-and-mortar shopping malls, there are also numerous online items selling cheap kimonos to customers across the globe.

Can you rent kimonos in Japan?

Visitors can both buy and rent cheap kimonos in Japan. Kimono rentals are most common for tourists who want to experience Japanese culture and tradition without investing in a kimono to keep.

Most specialized kimono boutiques offer kimono rental options as an affordable alternative.

kimono boutiques

Tansuya is one of the most popular Japanese stores for renting yukatas and kimonos. This is a recycled kimono shop with numerous locations throughout Tokyo, offering secondhand kimonos and newer styles with dressing assistance.

Many first-time kimono wearers have good luck renting or buying kimonos from Tansuya for just a few thousand yen.

Dressing assistance with a mini tea ceremony is also available for kimono rentals at Sakaeya.

Another secondhand kimono shop, Sakaeya has decades of experience in helping people find their perfect kimono rental or purchase.

When should you wear kimonos?

There are several occasions to wear kimonos in Japan, including weddings, graduations, summer festivals, and funerals.

Coming of age ceremonies are another reason to wear kimonos, which are most often worn by women.

While kimonos are traditional Japanese wear, they are commonly worn by tourists taking in the sights and sounds of Japan.

There are kimono rental services and plenty of places to buy kimonos, too.

 traditional Japanese wear

Whatever the special occasion is for wearing kimonos, just remember these few rules for a successful outfit in line with traditional customs:

  1. Cross the left side over the right
  2. Wear white tabi socks – no bare feet or decorative socks
  3. Tie the obi knot in the back
  4. Wear the nagajuban white cotton dress underneath
  5. Wear a kimono for fancier events and save the lightweight yukata for informal settings