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Hunting for kimonos at Sensoji Temple

Why did I go hunting for kimonos at Sensoji Temple?  It wasn’t my original plan.  I went for the Sanja Festival’s Daigyoretsu.  The website I consulted, it should have started at 1 pm.  When I arrived, I discovered it would begin at 6 pm but I couldn’t wait until then.  Yes, I needed something to do!

Japanese woman in kimono and mask

So, I thought I’d wander the temple grounds and hunt for kimonos.  It is the season for them now.  In the warmer months, you’ll see people wearing them or yukatas. 

Japanese man in blue yukata at Sensoji

Of course, I have seen lots of photos of people in kimonos on the internet and on Instagram.  But it was the first time I had photographed them in such a situation.  Let me tell you; it wasn’t easy.  But like all things in life, it gets easier if you do it more.  Now, I’m very tempted to do it more.


Actually, I’ve never used to be interested in kimonos.  Yes, they can be colorful.  I photographed some at a fashion show.  But they have never grabbed my attention until now.  They finally caught me.

Japanese girls wearing kimonos in rikshaw

I’ll have to study more about kimonos. Like most people, I know the basics, but there have many parts.  Things like sode, eri and obi are pretty well-known.  I had never heard of koshihimo and tamato until I started writing this article. It’s time for me to start learning!

Japanese girls in kimonos at Sensoji Temple near Hozomon Gate

They were challenging to photograph.  I didn’t want to pose anyone, as I wanted candid photos.  But everyone kept moving.  It was hard to keep up at times.

girls in kimonos at Sensoji Temple

The other problem I had was trying to catch people at suitable points.  I wanted to photograph them under the Hozomon Gate or any recognizable spot.  But the subjects don’t always cooperate!  For some strange reason, they suddenly decide to walk in a random direction.  Or they might turn or stop and start chatting together.  They did the darndest things to ruin my photos.

Japanese couple in kimono near Hozomon Gate

Still, I had fun doing it.  And it’s another thing I plan to do more from now.  Summer is looking very exciting.  Let’s see what happens anyway.

2 Japanese girls in kimonos at Sensoji Temple

So this time, I realized the Sanja Festival at Sensoji won’t run as usual.  I plan to go on Sunday, but I’m not sure of its format.  My idea is to turn up and take things as they come.  Probably the event will be much smaller than in previous years.  I guess it will be less lively too.

For previous Sanja Festival articles, look at:

For an interesting kimono article, look at:

Please leave questions and comments below.

2 thoughts on “Hunting for kimonos at Sensoji Temple”

  1. Pingback: Sensoji temple - great for photographers - Tokyo in Pics

  2. Pingback: Cats, dogs and kimonos at Sensoji temple - Tokyo in Pics

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