visiting a kimono warehouse

Today was a glorious day in Kyoto. One of those gorgeous days when you feel spring turning into summer. We’ve had lots of rain this spring, which has turned everything lush and vibrant green, but today was warm and the sky was blue, making you feel summer on its way. And on a beautiful day like today, I had the chance to visit the warehouse of a vingage kimono dealer. I confess I didn’t know quite what to expect, but I did feel it would be a privileged peek into an inner sanctum of fabulous fabrics.
stacks of vintage obi
So it was kind of surprising to find the barren walls, metal rung shelving brimming with vintage obi and burgeoning plastic bags, sometimes spilling their colorful contents across the floor. And just stacks and stacks of fabrics everywhere.
racks of vintage kimono
Unlike the flea markets, where vendors try to catch the eye of passing shoppers, this was purely warehousing with only narrow passages between the piles and bundles. If there was an order to this chaos, it was known only to the owner, as he confidently moved through his storehouse, pulling out a variety of items for me to swoon over. He seemed so amused as I oo-oohed and awed with each new offering. Although the years I have spent in Kyoto has allowed me to become a somewhat jaded veteran flea-market shopper, the sheer quantity of beauty packed into such a small space overwhelmed even me.

Pictured below is an embroidered wedding kimono.

kimono embroidery Click on the image for a closer look at the embroidered details.

I confess that within 30 or 40 minutes, I had spent every last dime in my pocket and on the ride home, my poor bike wobbled under the heavy load of my purchases. It was a glorious day.

3 thoughts on “visiting a kimono warehouse

  1. Sadia

    SIGH!Oh how I wish I wish I was on that trip. Want to trade place??? I’m salivating just looking at the gorgeous kimonos. Please do share pictures of the ones you purchased. HUGS, Sadia

  2. Maxi Jewels

    Me too ….. Wish to go there right the way and spend my last dime buying all these beautiful fabric ……
    Been to Kyoto several times but just never bought enough, next time gonna camp there until my last breath (a bit exaggerate …..)

  3. Carol

    wow ~ this was clear back in 2008, & here I am in 2014, drooling over those pictures! How absolutely AMAZING to get to purchase straight from the warehouse. I’m trying to be mature & not be jealous, but WOW…. just…. WOOOOWWWW. yeah, from one fabriholic to another….just…… WOWEEKAZOWWWWEEE!!

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