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The most traditional way to buy kimono is visiting Gofuku-shops.
(About the history of the word "Gofuku", please refer jump to "Glossary" .)

Gofuku-shops specialize in kimono.
Usually, even small town has local Gofuku-shops.
In shopping districts, street corners or shopping malls.

There are private management stores and chain stores.
Basically, often private management stores are in shopping streets or
street corners and chain stores are in shopping malls.

Some shops are selling the custom-made only and has a expensive selection of goods.
Some shops are selling the ready-made too and has inexpensive selection.
Often private management stores are the former, and chain stores are the latter.

Generally, Gofuku-shops are specialists about kimono, and have rich knowledge.
Also, some Gofuku-shops, especially ancient city's private management stores
are having a long history.

They have a lot of connections with wholesale stores, makers, ateliers of artisans.
So they can answer detailed request.

But sometimes, they speak to customers persistently.
The price of goods might be hard to know and high.
So, we feel a little hesitant to visit Gofuku-shops.

At your first visiting to a Gofuku-shop, we recommend to choose the shops that
have ready-made kimono, low-price accessories, or the kimono made not from silk.
Such Gofuku-shops are easy to do window-shopping, comparatively.

           Date : Jul/12/2009, Aug/03/2009

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