April 08, 2010

Where to Buy Kimono - Seattle: Shiga's Imports

People ask me all the time where they can buy kimono. The best place is internet shops like Ichiroya, but some people prefer shop off-the-rack. It can be hard to find specialty shops in most areas that sell just kimono, but you can look around other shops. Vintage clothing boutiques are good places to look for kimono, but be careful! Many boutiques cater to high dollar clients who are willing to pay far too much money for a kimono to hang on their wall or lounge in like a bath robe.

If you live in the Seattle/Tacoma area, you can try Shiga's Imports in the University District. From time-to-time, Shiga's sells cheaply priced yukata. A few years back they had a large selection of brand new yukata for $15 each. When I went there today there were no such deals, but maybe during the summer time (or when the economy picks up again) there may be a better selection.
Shiga's sells all sorts of items, mostly from Japan and other parts of Asia. They have a good selection of dishes, tea, Sanrio items, and one of the only places in Seattle that sells real tatami mats.

The uchikake pictured above was priced at $500, which is far out of my budget, but I find that this is the average price for uchikake sold in boutiques. If you are in the market for an uchikake, please buy it online! Ichiroya sells them for $98, and they will generally be in better condition since they haven't been hanging around collecting dust and stains. The happi pictured was similarly over-priced at $95.

There are many maru obi and fukuro obi hanging above. I imagine they are quite dusty! They are priced around $130-250, so I recommend buying obi online as well. You will get a better price from Ichiroya, and better quality.

The yukata/kimono section has gotten so small. I don't know if maybe there will be more in the summer, or if the economy is too bad. Despite the small selection, they are good quality. They are priced between $19-99, which isn't as bad as most shops. The yukata I bought today cost me $19 and it is brand new with the tags still on it (original price was ¥4800 which is $51 today). There is a glass case with accessories. Heko obi are being sold for $45 (Ichiroya sells for $15), geta are sold for $25, and koshihimo are well priced at $6.80 for a set of 3.

Shiga's Imports is worth a visit, but I recommend research before buying any of the pricier items.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful photos, thank you for sharing! Thank you also for the lovely comment on my blog. I've added a link to your blog in my blogroll :)