While you are in Miyagi, get in touch with tradition by trying on Japanese attire. A wide variety of kimono, from fashionable modern yukata to full silk regalia where experienced fitters will wrap you in the many layers, are just some of the many options available. You can also venture beyond kimono: to hakama, historical school uniforms, and European-style “high collar” dresses fashionable in Meiji-era Japan. Those looking for a little grit in their attire can try donning samurai armor—not just replica pieces but even genuine articles once worn by real samurai!
The definitive kimono and yukata fashion experience
Yumi Nakano, owner of Ume Luv, offers kimono rentals by reservation from her Sendai and Matsushima stores. Kimono can be rented and worn to go sightseeing around the city or Matsushima’s famous landmarks. There are more than a hundred kimono and summer yukata robes with accessories to choose from, including child-sized ones so the whole family can take part. Ume Luv also offers special packages for weddings, which include professional photographic services.
The ultimate samurai armor experience
For the ultimate samurai armor experience, head to the historic Iwadeyama area of Osaki. Here, you can not only try on armor, but also roam town in it! After a museum assistant helps you put it on correctly, you’re free to go explore. Take memorable photos at nearby historical buildings in the district, or go for an anachronistic look and pose for pictures in newer parts of town. What makes the experience even more incredible is that the suits of armor visitors wear aren’t replicas, they are the real deal—genuine armor once worn by real samurai!
Armor and princess kimono at a samurai castle
This small castle is big on traditional atmosphere. Get into the spirit yourself by trying on a princess kimono or samurai armor for just the price of castle admission. The kimono- and armor-wearing experiences here are simple: visitors can simply slip the attire on over their regular clothes, making this a good choice for people short on time, or who don’t want to spend more than a few minutes in costume. For details, see here.
Meiji-era school uniforms and haikara dresses
Meiji Village Museum of Miyagi・みやぎの明治村
*NOTICE: Due to concern over coronavirus, fashion rental has been suspended until further notice. For details, see here.*
Step back into the Meiji Period, when Japan was beginning to modernize after the end of samurai rule. Meiji Village in Tome City is a collection of historic buildings which are an ideal setting for trying on Meiji-era haikara European-style dresses (women’s and children’s options available) and hakama outfits inspired by the school uniforms of the era (men’s, women’s, and children’s options available). Enjoy wearing either as you explore the grounds of the Meiji Village schoolhouse.
Inquire at the Education Museum 10:00–14:00 April–June & September–November. Details here (Japanese). Anime or other cosplay with photography is also welcomed for the price of admission (reservations required).