Hello from Yuka.
There are many tourists from abroad visiting Kyoto this time of the year-actually, not this season only but always, we see many tourists in Kyoto.
Kyoto, Osaka, Hiroshima, Nara, Tokyo....today we like to introduce Hida Takayama(Gifu prefecture). Hida Takayama is often called `small Kyoto'.
It is a local city which has well preserved town scape from Edo period (approx 400 years ago).
There is a unique Okami who runs a ryokan for customers with pets in Nyukawa area in Hida Takayama. The next door of her ryokan, there is an old house where she was brought up. The house was built in 1787 ( back in Edo period) and the place was used to be for silkworm raising.
Okami, Wakako Mori, wanted to make this place for customers from abroad to enjoy wearing kimono. In the old folk house, you can enjoy wearing kimono and take photos as many as you can.
There have been already many customers visiting this house, and she recently completed the webpage in English to introduce this enchanting place. In big and famous tourist spots, we know there are `kimono rental shops' where you can wear kimono and enjoy sightseeing and taking photos but meeting Okami and wearing kimono in that old folk house must be an exceptional experience.
Wakako Okami has started a ryokan where people can bring pet more than twenty years ago- at that time there were not so many place where people can travel and stay with their pets. Wakako Okami who has her deep love for pets(especially dogs) started her ryokan especially for the customers with pets (Pets need no fee!), She is the person with a passion and strong principles. Many Old ryokan were having hard time and many of them had to close as time goes by but Wakako Okami is surviving with her continuous effort and her unique idea.
Wakako Okami wanted her old house to be the place for foreign customers to make wonderful experience of wearing kimono. She prepared many kimono with matching obi and all the accessories. You may think wearing kimono is quite tricky and needs a lot of time and work but there is no worries! Wakako Okami can dress you easily - it will take only 10 minutes or so, and you need no preparation. You can come just a you are and Wakako Okami will be happy to dress you in kimono just like your aunt or `Grandma'.
In cold days, she will be waiting for you by warming the house with Irori, Japanese fire place in the middle of the room. You can warm yourself at the fire-feeling like you are staying at your relative's house in a local village of Japan!
There are many big and fancy places in all tourists spots in Japan but this place is special - if you feel like visiting an old folk house and have a wonderful experience of wearing kimono there, this place will be excellent.
There are You Tube video with Japanese enka in her webpage-enka has the music with Japanese spirits, Wakako Okami says so and the songs are by her selection! I am sure you enjoy ther three video-they are on the left of this top page.
I would like to show Wakako Okami's blog also. I am sorry this is only in Japanese but her blog can show her personality. Keeping her ryokan for such a long time must not be easy but her love for animals and her passoin - to offer customers a wonderful experience is making the place so special. She took a lot of time and tried so hard to make this webpage of Kimono Experience Hall. If you are thinking about travelling other places except big toursit spot, why don't you try Hida Takayama and meet Wakako Okami- wearing kimono at the old house will make a wonderful memory!