Wear a Kimono — Get Discounts!

2016 Kimono Passport
Wear a kimono in Kyoto!

If you see a beautiful woman wearing a kimono on the streets of Kyoto, chances are they are a tourist, not a Geisha.

The city of Kyoto, Japan is promoting traditional arts in a variety of ways, including an innovative program to encourage people to dress in kimonos.

The Kyoto Kimono Passport offers discounts or small gifts to people wearing kimonos at dozens of restaurants, shops, and museums.

At certain times of the year, you can even get free bus and subway rides and reduced taxi fares!

If you love to dress up, this may be the deal for you!

Kimonos and the necessary accessories are available to rent at lots of places in Kyoto.  For an extra fee, you can get your hair styled.

With the Kimono Passport in hand, if your outfit becomes disheveled, there are a number of places that will help reassemble your kimono free of charge.

Benefits of the Kyoto Kimono Passport

2016 Kyoto Kimono Passport
2016 Kyoto Kimono Passport

A list of all of the discounts available with the Kyoto Kimono Passport is available online.  The many dozens of places where small discounts or gifts are offered include:

  • Temples and shrines
  • Kimono rentals
  • Museums
  • Restaurants and cafes
  • Shopping
  • Experiences
  • Historic Sites
  • Hotels

The small gifts might include something like a free postcard, or a hair ornament to go with your kimono rental, or 100 Yen off a museum admission.

The more valuable savings are probably the restaurant discounts.  A huge number of commercial establishments in the Kyoto Station participate in the Passport Program.

Your best bet may be the restaurants in the Isetan department store in the train station, which offer ten percent off to patrons wearing kimonos.  The Isetan store has a large variety of restaurants in different price ranges, including nine casual ramen shops.

How to Access the Kyoto Kimono Passport

2016 Kyoto Kimono Passport
2016 Kyoto Kimono Passport App

The easiest place for tourists to pick up the passport booklet is in Kyoto Station at the Tourist Information Center.

Alternately, you can just print out a passport card online.

There is also a smart phone app available in the Japan app store.

 This year’s Kyoto Kimono Passport is valid from October 1, 2015 through September 30, 2016.  Some discounts may have a limited validity period, so be sure to check the details of each offer.  For instance, the discounts at temples and shrines are only valid during the Autumn months.  


Discounts for Visa Cardholders on Travel, Restaurants, and LEGOLAND

20 Percent Off at Legoland
20 Percent Off at Legoland

Visa is kicking it up a notch by offering cardholders nearly a hundred discount offers on everything from LEGOLAND®, to shopping at Chicos, to dining at Pizza Hut.

Some of the discounts that caught my eye:

  • $5 off any purchase of $20 or more at Planet Hollywood
  • 20 percent off Radisson Blu Edwardian Hotels in the U.K. (including the Mayfair in London)
  • $10 off any two entrees at Buca di Beppo
  • $5 off a $50 purchase at Target
  • 20 percent off tickets to single day tickets to LEGOLAND® California and Florida
  • 20 percent off tickets to LEGOLAND® Discovery Centers in Dallas-Fort Worth, Chicago, Kansas City, Atlanta, Westchester, NY and Toronto, Canada.
  • 20 percent off the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas

The offers all require you to pay with a Visa credit card to receive the discount, and there may be promo codes or coupons to apply to your purchase.  You can use any of dozens of Visa credit cards, including my personal favorite, the Chase Freedom Credit Card.

Be sure to read the fine print for the details on these offers, and check around to see if there are any better deals out there!

Click here to compare current rewards credit card offers.

I Bet You Never Heard of This Travel Discount Program for VISA Cardholders

Visa Special Offers Discount Program
Hotel Discounts

Well I’ll be darned if there isn’t another well-hidden discount program for people who hold Visa credit cards.

Introducing the Visa Offers Program

The Visa Offers program offers 70 distinct deals for holders of the Visa personal credit cards.

There are cash discounts and/or upgrades offered on shopping, dining, car rentals, hotels and entertainment.

You just need to go to the Visa Offers webpage to peruse the offers and see the special terms.  Many of the offers require you to click through to the merchant’s site and use a special promo code.

The Visa Offers program is for people with personal credit cards, in contrast to the Visa Savings Edge program for small business cardholders.

Special Savings for Visa Cardholders

Any Visa-branded personal credit card can be used with this deal.   Examples include the United MileagePlus Explorer card, the Chase Freedom card, the Southwest Rapid Rewards card, the The Priceline Rewards™ Visa® Card,  The WyndhamRewards® Visa Signature® Card, The Choice Privileges® Visa® Card, and many others.

Here are some examples of the savings you will find.

Hotel Deals

There are discounts available for hotels in New York, Chicago, London, San Francisco, Hawaii, Paris, and other top destinations when you use your Visa card to book and pay for a stay.

  • Stay 3 nights or longer in an ocean view or oceanfront room at the  Royal Lahaina Resort on Kaanapali Beach on Maui or the Royal Kona Resort on Hawaii’s big island and get a $25 daily food and beverage credit per room.
  • Radisson Blu Edwardian hotels in the U.K. (including the May Fair Hotel) offer up to 20 percent off stays and a complimentary room upgrade.
  • Upscale Raffles Hotels & Resorts in Singapore, Cambodia, the Philippines, China, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles and Paris offer daily breakfast for two, room upgrades, and late check-out.
  • Select Hilton Worldwide hotels in New York City offer 15 percent off the best available rate.
  • Save 10 percent off the best available rate plus breakfast for two at over 150 participating Preferred Hotel Group properties around the world.
  • Book a Premier View Category room at the Parc 55 Wyndham in San Francisco and receive 20 percent off your room rate.
  • Swissôtel Chicago offers a complimentary room upgrade, late check-out, and  a free ride from Uber car service.

Discounts on Legoland

Use your Visa card and receive 20% off single-day tickets to LEGOLAND® in Florida and California, as well as LEGOLAND® Discovery Centers in Dallas, Chicago, Kansas City, Atlanta, Westchester, New York and Toronto.

Discounts on Car Rentals and SuperShuttle

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