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Wearing kimono gets you Kyoto rides, for free
Updated: 2005-03-10 14:06

Japan's ancient capital Kyoto will give free transport and museum entry to anyone who wears a kimono in a bid to support the traditional but infrequently worn garment, a city official said.

"We will offer free tickets for subways, buses and 20 sites in the city for 11 days from Friday to anyone wearing a kimono," said Ami Tsujii, Kyoto official in charge of promoting traditional industries.

Foreign tourists were eligible and could rent a kimono for 3,000 yen (US$28) a day, she said.

Kyoto, home to hundreds of temples and shrines, served as Japan's main seat of government from the 8th to 17th centuries and remains one of the few places where people in kimonos are a common sight.

It is also a major center of the textile industry that makes kimonos, which in 21st-century Japan are primarily worn for special occasions such as official holidays and are usually more expensive than modern clothing.

Tsujii said Kyoto was concerned that "people have fewer opportunities to see or wear kimonos."

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