Paranormal Housewife

Playing Dress Up In Iwakuni

November is just around the corner. That means the Marine Corps Ball is coming up soon. Being overseas can make dress hunting a little difficult. Unless you have really good luck buying clothes off the internet your options usually are what you bring with you, what someone is selling on the classifieds, or if you can find something at the thrift store or the dress exchange. My friend, Anneliese, needed something to wear to the ball but wanted to try something different for this year’s ball. She decided she wanted to wear a kimono.

With Saori’s help, we found a cute shop down by the Kintai Bridge called Karankoron. It is the easiest shop to find. There is a street directly across from the bridge (the non-park side). Go down that street about two blocks and the store will be on your left. The street is very narrow so I recommend parking at the Kintai and walking down.


I was surprised to find that this shop also doubled as thrift store. I loved all the things I found as I explored the shop. I will definitely have to go back and buy some more dolls.

Upstairs Jeremy, Anneliese, Saori and I met with Manoe Igasaki. She would be helping Anneliese find a kimono to rent for the ball. There were so many kimono to choose from.

I was surprised to learn how much went into finding a kimono. First off you need to find the right kimono. Manoe had Anneliese try different ones on to find the right fit, length, and color for her.

Manoe explained how the kimono was suppose to fit. She also explained the difference between the sleeve lengths. The longer sleeves are for unmarried woman and formal events usually. The shorter sleeves are for married women and casual events.

Manoe also explained that the small detail on the arms and chest was either the family crest or the crest for the kimono rental shop.

When Anneliese found the kimono that she wanted, then we had to find the right obi to go with it. Manoe explained that you can either match a color or a pattern in the kimono.

After the obi, then she had to decide on which cords and cloth she wanted to go with the obi and kimono.

Then Anneliese had to decide on the colors in her collar. Manoe explained you can match either the obi or the kimono for the colors.

To give Anneliese a chance to think about which items she wanted, Manoe showed us some of the men’s kimono that she had in stock. I volunteered Jeremy to try them on.

Just when we thought he was dressed she brought out a sword. That made Jeremy’s day.


She also had another style for men’s kimono that she let Jeremy try on.

After Jeremy was done trying on kimono, Anneliese made her decisions on what she wanted. Then Manoe pulled out the boxes of hair ornaments. There were so many styles to pick from. I loved the flowers that had dangling pieces of silver and some of the combs.


Anneliese is all set for the ball! Saori helped her with booking a hair appointment and then afterwards Anneliese will come back Karankoron to have Manoe dress her and put her hair accessories in. I can’t wait to see photos of how beautiful Anneliese will look at the ball!!!

If you are interested in kimono rental, Karankoron offers their services for only ¥10,000 ($100). They still appointments available for the ball if you still need something beautiful to wear. If you want to book an appointment I recommend contacting Saori on her webpage. The employees at Karankoron do not speak English but Saori makes it easy to talk to them.

Also next spring the Karankoron is having a Geisha experience on April 29th, 2017. They will have kimono rentals for men (¥7,000), woman (¥10,000), and children (¥5,000). The rental fee includes photos  and food. They will be hair stylists and makeup artists there to make you look like a beautiful Geisha. I can’t wait to see everyone dressed up!


3 thoughts on “Playing Dress Up In Iwakuni

  1. Love this post! Makes me wanna go Japan even more 😀 And haha, Jeremy looks good with the sword. Good that you volunteered him to try the things on! 🙂

  2. Thank you for following my blog. I can see that you and your husband are loving Japan as much as we did when we visited. You are a beautiful couple. Enjoy every minute of every day you are there. Blessings from Nancy at Boyer Writes

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