Every once in a while, 27-year-old Junko Nagumo and five companions visit boutiques in upmarket Tokyo districts such as Omotesando and Ginza -- not to buy trendy fashion items but to find inexpensive used kimono.

The six women wear the garments at a "kimono cafe" session they hold one Sunday every month at a restaurant in Shinjuku Ward. They serve light meals and soft drinks to their customers, many of whom are also kimono-clad.

"We thought that (the image of) kimono would help create an attractive space where people of various generations come together," said Nagumo, an office worker who founded Kimono Cafe, the group that holds the monthly event.