Japanese Culture Day at the kids’ school approaches, which means that the kids need the right wardrobe! New kimonos can cost crazy amounts of money, so the cool kids know to buy second-hand.
Today we headed to to a popular resaikuru (recycle) chain called Book Off. Despite its name, Book Off sells all types of second-hand goods including musical instruments, sporting goods, and clothing. I had heard from another mom that Book Off often carries kimonos and yukatas (summer-weight cotton robes), but unfortunately we didn’t find any on our visit. So on to Plan B. But first–lunch!
After a lovely sushi lunch, we headed to a used kimono shop called Recycle Yokocho near Tsurimi station right in Yokohama. We were quickly assigned to the one English-speaking sales person, and she knew all about the school’s upcoming Japanese heritage day. Tessa had several kimono to choose from and quickly zeroed in on her favorite, an orange kimono with an ombre design. She chose a pale blue obi to wear on top, and we found a pretty hair ornament to match. The correct way to wear a kimono includes a white cotton undergarment, but we’re skipping that because it’s not a formal occasion. And, well, Gaijin Card!
Her tab: 5000 yen, or about $44 for the entire ensemble.
As usual, the boys’ section was smaller. We found only one choice that came close to fitting Cy, a jacket set that boys usually wear for a Coming of Age ceremony at age 5. (We didn’t dwell on this point in front of the boy.) Not surprisingly none of the pants were long enough for Cy, but he’s such a skinny thing that the jackets fit; he’ll get away with wearing the jackets with plain black pants. Gaijin Card again! Both jackets together cost 1000 yen, or about $9.
In addition to kimono and yukata, the shop also carries accessories including obi, beautifully embroidered sashes worn over kimono. Obi are quite long and make great table runners, and I picked up two for $8 and $12.
As we finished up another family from school arrived on the same errand, and I suspect that the shop will see many more St. Maur families over the next week and a half.
The school is holding a class for parents next week about the proper way to wear the kimono in preparation for Japanese Culture Day. Stay tuned!
5F Fuga 2, 2-2 Toyooka-cho, Tsurumi-ku, Yokohama
Open: 1-6 p.m., closed every second Thursday