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Kimono exhibition provides a taste of history

by Sally Kikuchi

Special To The Japan Times

This weekend is the last chance to view a rare collection of antique kimono from the Meiji Era at a traditional merchant house. Hosted at Nishijin Tondaya, a registered national cultural asset built in 1885, the exhibition features kimono that are around 120 years old. Visitors now have the opportunity not only to see these kimono but also to observe the ways in which they were worn and find out more about the lifestyle of the time. Tondaya’s current owner, Mineko Tanaka, speaks of a “virtue in the elegance of women going about their daily tasks in kimono” and “a commitment to preserving the traditional spirits and refined manners of the past.” Some kimono will be available for purchase.

The house at Nishijin Tondaya aims to provide a unique experience of Japanese tradition. With gardens and rooms authentically preserved, the house offers guests a chance to observe the culture and history of “real” Kyoto. Events are hosted throughout the year at Tondaya, and the venue also offers guests the opportunity to enjoy tea ceremony, kimono dressing and traditional food.

The exhibition runs till Aug. 31. Admission is ¥1,050. From JR Kyoto station, take the bus to Ichijo-modoribashi. For more information, call (075) 432-6701 or visit www.tondaya.co.jp.