Costume rental & photo shoot guide – from samurai to maiko and anime characters

Travel back to ancient Japan in a costume

One of the costumes that you want to try at least once when you visit Japan is a kimono. There are more and more places where you can rent a kimono, which makes it easier for you to enjoy it. There are also places in different areas of Japan where you can transform yourself into a ninja, samurai or maiko. We have selected some of these places to show you, where you can take a photo of yourself dressed up with scenery of ancient Japanese towns in the background.

Wearing a costume from Japanese historical dramas at Toei Kyoto Studio Park
Wearing a costume from Japanese historical dramas at Toei Kyoto Studio Park

Japan has some theme parks that reproduce ancient towns of Japan. One of them is Toei Kyoto Studio Park in Kyoto City. On a set where Japanese historical dramas (dramas mainly set in the Edo period between the 17th and the 19th centuries) are also filmed, you can take a photo of yourself wearing a costume of a samurai, ninja, towns girl or maiko. You can choose out of more than 30 kinds of costumes. There is also a wide variety of plans from a simple one where you just wear a costume to a professional one where you also wear makeup.

Edo Wonderland Nikko Edomura
Edo Wonderland Nikko Edomura
Wearing a costume at Edo Wonderland Nikko Edomura
Wearing a costume at Edo Wonderland Nikko Edomura

Edo Wonderland Nikko Edomura in Nikko City, Tochigi Prefecture, is a theme park that reproduces a town in Japan between the 17th to the 19th centuries. You can enjoy a variety of attractions while strolling around the town in a costume of people at that time.

TOEI Kyoto Studio Park

Address: 10 Uzumasa-higashihachiokacho, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto City

Directions: 5 min walk from Uzumasa Station on the JR Sagano Line or Uzumasa Koryuji Station on Keifuku Dentetsu (randen)

Open: 9:30 am – 4:30 pm ※Varies in each season

Admission fee: Age18 and above 2,200 yen, age 17 and under 1,300 yen, age 12 and under 1,100 yen, under age 3 free

Costume dressing fee: From 1,900 yen

Edo Wonderland Nikko Edomura

Address: 470-2 Karakura, Nikko City, Tochigi Prefecture

Directions: About 10 min by taxi or about 15 min by local bus for “Nikko Edomura” from Kinugawa-Onsen Station on the Tobu Kinugawa Line

Open: 9:30 am – 4:00 pm ※Varies in each season

Holidays: Wednesdays, December 8-21

Admission fee: Age13 and above 4,700 yen, age 12 and under 2,100 yen, under age 5 free

Costume dressing fee: From 2,500 yen

Wearing a costume from Japanese historical dramas at the Kabuki Photo Studio

There are also places other than theme parks in Japan, where you can easily dress up in a costume. For example, in Kabukiza Tower next to the Kabukiza in Tokyo, there is a photo studio where you can take a photo of yourself wearing costumes of Kabuki or of traditional Japanese clothes . Some options need no reservation, making it easy for you to try.

Studio Alice Kabuki Photo Studio

Address: Kabukiza Tower 5F, 4-12-15 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo

Directions: Connected directly from Higashi-Ginza Station on the Tokyo Metro or Toei Subway Line

Open: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm

Price: From 3,900 yen

Wearing a costume of a ninja in Iga City

If you want to turn into a ninja, visit Iga City in Mie Prefecture. Ninja costumes are rented out at many places including “Danjiri Kaikan”, a tourist information center, and you can enjoy sightseeing around the city in the ninja costume.

Danjiri Kaikan

Address: 122-4, Ueno-marunouchi, Iga City, Mie Prefecture

Directions: About 5 min walk from Ueno-shi Station on the Iga Railway

Phone: 0595-24-4400

Open: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Costume fee: 1,080 yen

Get into the role of your favorite character!

You can also easily enjoy “cosplay” in Japan, where you get dressed into a character of anime or cartoons. There is also a specialized photo studio where you can take a professional photo of yourself. But please keep in mind that many of these studios speak only Japanese.

Cosplay at Studio Crown
Cosplay photo at Studio Crown

“Studio Crown” in Akihabara, Tokyo, is a photo studio where you can just come empty-handed and enjoy cosplay. You can rent a cosplay costume and a wig and some options also come with a professional makeup service by an actual cosplayer. They also have a variety of backgrounds including Japanese style, Gothic style and Cyberspace style. You can get into the role of your favorite character.

Studio Crown

Address: 5F East-B Sasage Building, 2-4-6 Soto Kanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo

Directions: 6 min walk from Akihabara Station on the JR Yamanote Line

Phone: 03-5577-5995

Open: 11:00 am – 4:30 pm

Anime cosplay & photo shoot: From 7,344 yen

* Online reservation required

Costumes at Cosmenia
An example of cosplay at Cosmenia

Ikebukuro in Tokyo has “Otome Road” where there is a collection of anime goods shops and cafes geared towards females. “Cosmenia”, one of these shops, rents out cosplay costumes and you can experience cosplay and a photo shoot of an anime character with the guidance of an actual cosplayer. There is also a cafe in the same place where you can enjoy gathering with other cosplayers.

Cosmenia

Address: 4F Keita Building, 1-39-20 Higashi-Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo

Directions: 5 min walk from Ikebukuro Station on the JR Yamanote Line

Email reservation:info@cosmenia.jp

Open: 11:00 am – 6:30 pm (- 8:30 pm on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays).Closed on Tuesdays

Costume fee: From 3,000 yen

Make a figurine with the latest technology

Lastly, let us introduce a transformation service that makes full use of the latest technology. It is a surprising technology which allows you to make a figurine of yourself.

An example of 3D figurine

At “3D Print Figure Studio” in Shibuya or Yurakucho in Tokyo, you can make a figurine of yourself based on the data taken with as many as 102 cameras. It is impressive to see how accurate it is as if it was your clone. However, it takes 2-3 weeks to make and the figure cannot be shipped overseas, so have plenty of time in order to experience it.

3D Print Figure Studio

Production fee: From 30,000 yen

* Reservation required on the phone or over the counter

Shibuya LoFt

Address: 6F Shibuya LoFt, 21-1 Udagawa-cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

Directions: 5 min walk from Shibuya Station on JR or Tokyo Metro

Phone:03-3462-3863

Open: 10:00 am – 9:00 pm (check in by 8:00 pm)

Yurakucho LoFt

Address: 1F Infos Yuraku-cho, 3-8-3 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo

Directions: 2 min walk from Yurakucho Station on JR or Tokyo Metro

Phone:03-5223-6210

Open: 10:30 am – 9:30 pm (check in by 8:30 pm), Sundays and holidays 10:30 am -9:00 pm (check in by 8:00 pm)

What would you want to transform yourself into? If you take a photo or make a figurine of yourself transformed, it will surely be an unforgettable memory for you.