April 28, 2012

Kimono Shopping in Seattle

Today I went kimono shopping in Seattle with Shannon. We decided it was a good time to wear kimono! We had a good time and found some great things!

My kimono I wore for the shopping trip. It is too short for a ohashori, but still comfortable to wear.

The first store we visited was Hosekibako ( Jewelbox) Resale Shop. Hosekibako is a shop that is run by the Japanese Culture and Community Center of Washington. The items are donated to the store, and the proceeds support the JCCCW's programs and operations which benefit the community. There are many beautiful items that can be found at Hosekibako, including many kimono and kimono accessories. I was very much tempted to buy a gold tsuke obi and several obijime. I will definitely be back! Please check out Hosekibako, they are open Thursday, Friday, and Saturdays only, I've included their link above with address information. While you are there, please check out the rest of the Japanese Culture and Community Center. They hold many fun events through out the year.

You can also follow them on Facebook


Hosekibako's kimono rack

Happy shoppers

Is it kamidana?? I do not know for sure, it is very ornate!
(edit: thank you anonymous commenter for letting me know this is a house for hina dolls. I had never seen a house like this for a hina matsuri display.)

Hina dolls

We found many accessories: geta, obi ita, many obijime, some obi, susoyoke, and koshihimo. The one thing we could not find is obiage.

The next place we went to is Kyoto Art & Antiques. It is a warehouse sale that is only open for a few days, twice a year! Internet reviews of this warehouse sale describe Kyoto Art & Antiques as being a secret gem of an event for interior designers looking to purchase unique Japanese furniture and decor at extraordinarily cheap prices. This is true, but it also became clear that the kimono section attracted the most action, with women digging through racks of kimono and bins of fabric looking for something to cut up and use for quilt making and other crafts. There is good reason for all the frantic action at the kimono section, because most of the kimono were only $10!

Kyoto Art & Antiques is located in a very, very old warehouse.

As you are walking in you are greeted by this very large wooden elephant. I wonder what the story is with this elephant, hmn. Oh no! We should have taken our pictures next to this! Maybe next time..

The kimono racks. Most of the kimono were $10, mostly iromuji and komon. Houmongi were around $20-40, and furisode were $100-240. There was also a boy's kimono set for shichi-go-san from the Edo period. I don't remember the cost, but it was very popular with the customers despite it's simple designs.

Several of the women asked us questions about kimono, since we were dressed up. We answered some questions, and convinced a pair of women that a long michiyuki would look lovely as a dress - they were in love with the idea. As we were leaving I noticed several more of the women that were shopping had started trying on the kimono and attempting to coordinate an outfit using the few obi that were available!

Obi and fabric bolts

We found another wooden elephant! Just a head this time. I seriously wonder about the elephants... Perhaps it is because I didn't have any coffee this morning, but the elephants were such an oddity to me.

I am in love with this tansu. It is so big!! I wish it would fit into my tiny apartment, and my tiny budget. The pattern in the wood is so lovely!

And the top shelves inside are wonderful.

At the warehouse sale, we ran into Mrs. Akemi Sagawa, who we first met at Kimono de Jack. She recognized us immediately, and we chatted just a little bit before continuing our shopping. She directed us to this tansu as being perfect for our kimono. If only I had saved up more money than I did..

Home after a long day of shopping!
I had a very small budget (I emptied out my coin jar), but I did manage to get two lovely kimono for $50.

Burgundy colored komon. I was told that this is a good color on me, so I am glad to have another. My husband really likes this one.

The fabric is very soft, almost satin-like.

Of course I couldn't wait to try it on, even if I don't have an obi for it yet.

Even though I am almost 30 years old, I couldn't resist this furisode for only $40!

Now I just need to find a nice obi for this furisode. I don't think I have anything that would work. I'm almost tempted to wear it for my 30th birthday (30 is a big milestone, why not be flashy!!), but it is in August and I think I would overheat. I hope to convince my niece to wear it someday.


  1. The ornate house is not kamidana. It is a house for hina dolls.

  2. Oh thank you for letting me know. I've been wondering what it was. I've never seen a hina display using a house like this. I did a Google image search and now I can see very few examples of it used in a hina display. It is lovely, thank you for letting me know what it is!

  3. I wanted to say how stunning those two kimono you found are! They look amazing (great condition, no stains) -- and fit you perfectly. You have very good taste -- particularly the furisode seems to suit you -- good color perfect size, and I love how long the sleeves are! Congrats on some great finds! (I envy you your Japanese community -- the midwest doesn't have these shops) p.s. I am one month older than you, and have an impressive furisode collection -- they are so lovely I can't resist them! ^^ Happy upcoming thirty to us both! :)

  4. This is an awesome resource for those looking for kimono items in the Seattle area! I live not to far from Seattle and I need some kimono accessories so I can wear my furisode I got in Japan...thank you so much for this informative post!

    1. You are very welcome! The bi-annual Kyoto Art & Antique sale is actually going on right now, until May 5th! I don't think they typically have a lot of accessories, but it's a great treasure hunt nonetheless! They did have some great zouri last time though.