Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Makeover in Kimono at Asakusa as an Oiran

Unlike your typical kimono shoots, Studio Nanairo at Asakusa provides glamorous transformation into maiko or oiran (courtesan) in a studio environment or you can pay extra for street shots!

*Disclaimer: This was a self-funded trip to provide non-bias review of experiences for my blog and/or new comic book. I do not get any money in return for recommendations.

The studio is located near Asakusa station so it is easy to locate.

The reception area displays yukata and obi for sale, as well as the different kinds of makeovers available.

You are provided a transparent bag to carry your smartphones, etc. and a free small bottle of mineral water. There were also inner garments to change into before your makeup.

Lockers are there to store your bags during the makeup and shoot.

The changing room was very well equipped with 2 basins and complete skincare from makeup remover (for heavy stage makeup), to face wash, lotion and moisturiser!

The hair and makeup took approximately 1 hour. And the wig was daaaaaamnnnn heavy! They will ask if you want to go to the ladies before fixing up everything and putting on the actual kimono. I walked like a  crab in and out the toilet...

They inserted anything fancy into any empty space they saw in my hair, like an ikebana or christmas tree... ...

They will give you options in each stage from makeup colours, to hair accessories and kimono layers. If you are confused like me, you can ask for their recommendations by telling them the look you are aiming for, like cool, sexy or cute. They will also ask if you would like to reveal your shoulders or not when putting on the inner layer.

 The fake nails were secured by adhesive tapes, a bit painful when peeling and difficult to use your smartphone.

Luckily my patreon and fan Midori Kame was there to assist me as she happened to be there for holiday! She was also the one who recommended me this studio. We took a lot of photos at the changing room as we could not shoot inside the studio with the beautiful backdrops.

While changing back and removing the extra thick makeup, the photographer selected 12 shots from a total of 40 or so and printed them out in a sheet for you to pick the printed copies that you want.

Because I'm on my own funded trip, budget was tight so I chose the cheapest plan with only 3 printed photos and no digital file. You have to top up 2,000yen for every digital file requested or 15,000yen for all the files. Eventually, I topped up 2,000yen for my favourite shot, which was the first photo you saw in this article.

This was chosen to show the whole costume while standing up.

We liked the fan and top down shot.

We think this one was cool too.


This was like the best makeover experience I ever had, and the most expensive one at 25,000yen without tax. With the additional photo and tax, it amounts to nearly 30,000yen (around US$270). I only wished I had more budget to request for all the digital copies. The studio was very professional, with two receptionists, one makeup artist, one hair stylist, one photographer and one adjusting the lights. The total time taken was 2 hours, but if you take a long time to decide and shoot a lot of photos yourself at the end, then it would take 2.5 hours.

While I had difficulty choosing up to 6 photos for my cosplay experience (in previous post), we had a hard time eliminating photos because we could only choose 3-4 of them. I highly recommend this studio and you can also grab your partner to do a matching samurai couple shot :)

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