The building next to the folk house is the ryokan. However, please be aware that we are unable to provide accommodation to visitors from overseas. The reason for this is that 30 years ago, the custom of taking the dog with you when you travel did not exist. Then, the landlady made it into a special ryokan where both people and dogs could stay with a smile on their faces, after convincing the various people involved at the time. That's how we became "Bentenso, the ryokan your pets can stay at, too". To dogs, who throughout history had been treated more like things, the landlady made a promise. "I will create an inn where beloved dogs can stay in comfort, and confidently take their place as members of the family." We will see that business policy promised to dogs through all the way. We offer hospitality to people from all over the world in the form of a kimono wearing experience in the Bentenso Kimono Experience Hall, a special facility for the enjoyment of visitors from overseas. I would like to help ladies from all over the world wear the kimonos I have chosen. That is "the heart and soul of the landlady".
"I've turned the old-style folk house where I was born and raised into a Japanese kimono experience hall!" I first got interested in kimonos in the 1950s, and since then have collected various examples. My Bentenso Kimono Experience Hall is a place where visitors can experience what it's like to wear a Japanese kimono, selecting a garment from my collection to fit both their figure and the image of a Japanese kimono they wish to enjoy. My collection of kimonos dates back to the Meiji period and, owing to the history of the house in which I was born, they are all made from pure silk.
Silk from a cocoon is spun to make thread, then the thread is dyed by a skillful dying artisan, and the dyed thread is then woven into a piece of cloth about 40 cm wide and 4.20 m long by a weaver. Then the cloth is embroidered through a process which requires a variety of techniques and takes an amount of time that will make you feel faint, and the dyed cloth, now decorated with illustrations, is sewn stitch by stitch by a Japanese dressmaker. It is a work of art created from a thread spun from a single cocoon.
The Japanese kimono cloth is ready after passing through the hands of a large number of craftsmen in this way. The inner and outer sides are sewn together, and at last the kimono is finished.
Kimono culture brings together a range of crafts which reflect the sincerity and pureness of heart of the Japanese people.
As a happy expression of hospitality, a number of kimonos which are steeped in feelings of celebration as a result of having been worn at wedding ceremonies by happy Japanese brides, have been further adjusted so as to make them easier for guests from overseas to wear.
It is a collection of items I have looked after by getting them out once a year to give them their annual "kageboshi", which means "drying in the shade, and is a special Japanese kimono maintenance technique which takes considerable effort and time.
The type of sash used is called "fukuro obis", and can be as much as four meters long. Winding one over the kimono takes a great deal of skill.
This is the "bunka obi" style, and it has been a subject of study since the Showa period.
There are lots of conventions and some difficult rules when it comes to kimonos.
I will help you with your kimono experience so that you can enjoy wearing a kimono easily, lightly, beautifully and gorgeously. A lot of people gape in surprise at the beauty and luxury of a kimono. I hope you will try the kimono experience, and take a photo on your camera so you can take home with you a travel memory of yourself cutting a fine spring figure while garbed in Japanese traditional costume. You are warmly invited to take a time out and experience the world of classic kimonos, a world unchanged since olden times. If you are traveling in Japan, be sure to include a visit to at least one place that's off the beaten track: Bentenso Kimono Experience Hall, Takayama. Please make a reservation before you visit.
The large and peaceful old-style folk house which is now the Kimono Experience Hall was built in 1787, back in the Edo period.
Many families have lived, and raised silk worms, beneath this vast roof. Nobody raises silkworms there any more, but it's still a family home.
We put up the closed sign when there aren't any reservations, so please make one before you visit.
Please make your reservation at least two days in advance.