Just like in other East Asian countries, some travelers in Taiwan like to dress up in traditional local outfits for their photoshoots. Locals in Taiwan won’t have any issue with this.
In this article, I’ve compiled some locations around Taiwan where you can rent a variety of traditional outfits, including Japanese kimonos and Chinese/Taiwanese hanfu or qipao, with options for women, men, and children.
At the end of the article, I’ve also introduced a few spots where you can buy these outfits of have them made – the perfect souvenir from Taiwan!
Kimono, Hanfu, Qipao: What’s the Difference?
Before we start, let’s clarify the difference between these traditional outfits.
- Kimono is a traditional Japanese outfit for women or men. So why are we seeing it in Taiwan? Well, keep in mind that Taiwan was a Japanese colony for 50 years. This half century had a major impact on Taiwan, so you can still find all kinds of Japanese customs, language, architecture, food, and more in Taiwan today. You may also find yukatas, which are like kimonos but thinner and usually made of cotton or linen (rather than silk for kimonos).
- Hanfu (漢服) refers to a variety of traditional clothing worn by the Han (Chinese) people for thousands of years. Generally speaking, compared to qipao, they are looser, cover more of the body, and/or have more layers.
- Qipao (旗袍, literally “gown”), also known as cheongsam (長衫) is a relatively modern Chinese attire mainly for women. It has Manchurian origins and was popularized in Shanghai in the 1920s. Compared to Hanfu, it is more figure-fitting, with a raised collar, and usually a slit up one side.
All three of these outfits can be rented or purchased in various locations around Taiwan.
Where to Rent Kimono, Hanfu, or Qipao
The following places rent these traditional outfits for the purpose of shooting photos.
Dadaocheng Visitor’s Center, Taipei
The Dadaocheng Visitor’s Center at the southern end of Dihua Street in Taipei city rents qipao and traditional clothing for women, men, and children. The experience is free, but you’ll need to leave a TWD 1000 deposit.
You’ll be able to stroll Taipei’s oldest street in the traditional clothing for one hour. The street features many Qing Dynasty and Japanese baroque storefronts. See my recommended Dihua street walking route, which starts at the Visitor’s Center.
You must make a reservation online in advance to rent the clothing. This can only be done 11 to 31 days in advance – in peak tourist season, earlier is better. Click this link to make your booking.
When you arrive, go up to the changing area on the second floor. You can also try showing up without a reservation and they may allow it if they aren’t too busy.
Grand Hotel, Taipei
One of Taipei’s most iconic landmarks is the Grand Hotel (圓山大飯店) near Yuanshan MRT station. This classical Chinese-style structure can be seen from various points around the city.
With this experience, you can choose from a wide variety of outfits like cheongsam, hanbok (Korean), yukata, or hanfu, plus free accessories included. The rental will last three hours (must finish by 5 PM), and staff will take you around to the best photo spots in and around the hotel.
If you spend the night in the hotel, then you can keep the clothing overnight and return it when you check out. There’s also the option to enjoy a meal at the restaurant on site in your clothing, but the restaurant reservation will need to be made separately.
Kani Kimono, Beitou
Beitou is Taipei’s main hot springs village. First developed by the Japanese, it features several Japanese-era wooden buildings like Xinbeitou Historic Station, Beitou Hot Spring Museum, and Plum Garden.
These provide the perfect backdrop for your kimono photographs (and all three are free to visit!) At Kani Kimono, you can rent kimonos or yukatas for four hours. An obi (traditional sash) and clogs are included.
After booking on Klook, you’ll need to go to their Facebook page to make a booking. There are two time slots per day. Their office is a short walk from Xinbeitou MRT station.
After you’re finished, complete your day by taking a hot spring bath in Beitou! Avoid Mondays, when several things at Beitou are closed.
Playing Guzheng in Hanfu, Beitou
Another traditional clothing option in Beitou is this guzheng and hanfu experience. The guzheng (古筝) is a picturesque classical Chinese musical instrument.
In this one-hour experience, you’ll get to dress up, learn some basics of playing the instrument, and have time for photo and video taking. According to a member of my Facebook Travel Planning group, it’s very fun and they can speak English.
This one is located close to Beitou station on the Red Line (not Xinbeitou like the previous entry, where the hot springs are located).
Lin Family Mansion, Banqiao, New Taipei City
The gorgeous Lin Family Mansion in Banqiao District of New Taipei City is a popular spot for dressing up in traditional clothing and taking photos.
Traditional hanfu can be rented here and you can contact this makeup artist for doing your look. These were both recommended by another member of my Taiwan Travel Planning group, but I’m not sure whether they can communicate in English.
There is a small entrance fee for Lin Family Mansion. Avoid weekends so there will be less people to get in the way of your photos.
Jiufen Old Street, New Taipei City
You can also rent qipao for women, men, or kids at Jiufen Old Street, which is the most popular day trip destination from Taipei.
This company in Jiufen rents the outfits out for a fee (TWD 1200 for women or 800 for men/kids). For that price, you’ll get the outfit for a whole day and it comes with various traditional accessories and shoes.
This will give you plenty of time to explore the famous old street and its traditional teahouses, loaded with great photo ops. With a full day, you could even consider to explore other stops on the Pingxi Railway Line.
A reservation and pre-payment is a must – don’t just show up.
Jiaoxi Hot Spring Park, Yilan
With this hot springs + kimono rental deal, you get to first take a traditional Japanese-style hot spring soak (in other words, nude and male/female separated) in a lovely outdoor hot spring in Jiaoxi, then rent a kimono after.
This traditional bathhouse is located in Jiaoxi Hot Springs Park, which has a green landscape and hot spring creeks for your photos. When you first enter the park, you’ll see some free foat-soaking tubs. You need to go deeper into the park to find the traditional bathhouse.
The kinomo rental includes traditional socks, clogs, bag, umbrella, hair accessories, and simple makeup. There’s also the option to add seafood noodles.
The hot springs park is right next to Jiaoxi Transfer Station, where buses from Taipei (60-90 minutes) arrive, or a short walk from Jiaoxi train station. Don’t confuse this hot springs park with Tangweigou Hot Spring Park, another similar hot spring park in the city.
Dancewoods Japanese Garden, Yilan
Dancewoods (綠舞日式主題園區) is one of several Japanese-themed tourist centers in Taiwan. At this one in Yilan county, you can stroll the manicured garden, meet cute animals like capybaras, alpacas, and meerkats, do DIY activities for kids, and experience traditional Japanese tea ceremony.
On the Klook booking page, you’ll need to choose the “Admission Ticket + Wafuku + Tea Ceremony Experience”. “Wafuku” refers to all traditional Japanese clothing – the main choices here are kimono and yukata. You’ll also need to choose between two different times per day.
You can also spend the night at Dancewoods.
Historical Relic Museum, Chiayi
The small museum is housed in a beautiful 1943 wooden Japanese-era building in the middle of the sprawling park. There’s a TWD 50 entry fee which can be applied to your yukata rental.
You can take photos inside, including in the atmospheric tea shop, in the building’s yard, or in the park around it. The park includes some picturesque brick walls here, traditional gates, Japanese-era relics, a Confucius Temple, and the Sun Shooting Tower.
The rental fee is TWD 500 for one hour, for men or women, plus TWD 100 for additional accessories. It can be paid on the spot – no booking is needed.
Traditional wooden clogs are provided but can only be used outside because they could damage the fragile wooden floors of the interior.
Chiayi Park is a little far from Chiayi train station. Hop on a YouBike, take a taxi, or use GoogleMaps directions to ride a local bus.
Qipao Experience, Tainan
After dressing up, you’ll get to explore some of Tainan’s most atmospheric old streets. This is a late-afternoon and early evening experience (weekends only), with three possible starting times.
You can expect to take some moody photographs with light provided by traditional lanterns on the street.
Grand Hotel, Kaohsiung
Did you know that Kaohsiung also has a Grand Hotel? With a similar classical Chinese style to its Taipei counterpart, Kaohsiung’s Grand Hotel is located on the shore of Chengching Lake.
The same organization that provides the qipao experience at Taipei’s Grand Hotel also does the qipao experience here. After dressing up, you can take photos inside and outside by the pool or by the lake.
The three hour rental comes with the option to add pearl milk tea or afternoon tea. Here’s the link if you want to spend the night at the hotel.
Senya Village, Kaohsiung
Senya Village (祈願の千野村) in Kaohsiung is another Japanese-themed tourist spot. It is larger and more varied than Dancewoods in Yilan, but also more difficult to get to. And yes, they have a few capybaras, too.
The TWD 300 entrance ticket (book here on Klook) comes with free kimono/yukata rental for one hour. You can use TWD 100 from the ticket price towards additional accessories or snacks in the theme park.
Getting to Senya Village is a little tricky. Ride the KMRT Red Line to Metropolitan Park station then take a bus from there. A transfer plus some walking may be needed.
Where to Buy Qipao in Taiwan
I’ve seen cheap qipaos for sale in Taipei City Mall (also called Y Mall), which is one of the underground shopping streets below Taipei Main Station. The location of the shop in my above photo is near exit Y6, but there are more further down the mall.
Other shops you can try in Taipei with qipaos and other traditional clothing include this one near Taipei Main Station, this one in Ximending, this one in Zhongshan, or you can have one made here or here.
For other cities in Taiwan, simply input 旗袍 (qipao) into GoogleMaps and you can find many options.