This picture is specified as being in the public domain but I'll credit Wikipedia's kimono information page anyway.
In my student roster post, I mentioned a temporary student who was taking a few lessons with me to practice the type of things she might be asked in her new job at an information booth at a major international hotel. Her final lesson was last Friday and she asked to extend it to two hours because she was insecure about her ability to cope on the job. During the lesson, I asked her an exhaustive (and exhausting) series of questions that a guest might conceivably ask her in the course of her job.
When I asked her what sort of training the hotel would provide, she said they always did "on the job training". That essentially means she will sink or swim when she starts. I'm sure she'll be fine because she knew what the phrase "sink or swim" meant and her English, though far from perfect, is pretty good. The only thing I am slightly worried might be an issue is her tendency to say "saloon" instead of "salon". I don't think it would do to tell guests they can get a pedicure at the "esthetic saloon".
In addition to being concerned about her lack of training, she also said she was worried because the job required her to wear a kimono and she'd have to dress herself. For those who are not well-versed in Japanese cultural points, putting on a kimono is pretty difficult and apparently requires training and/or two people. Early on in my years in Japan, many female students would cite "wearing a kimono" as a hobby. For Americans, who have no traditional dress, the idea of learning to wear a type of clothing as a hobby seems very odd but the fact that people have to take lessons in putting it on is an indication of how complicated it can be.
Besides being difficult to put on, kimono can also be quite heavy though I think contemporary versions are likely lighter than more elaborate, traditional versions. I can't speak to how comfortable they are but I do believe that wearing one day-in and day-out while working in a hotel would probably get pretty tedious, particularly if it's a sticky business getting it on each morning. I'm guessing it's also not the easiest thing to walk around in on the subways or trains.
When I asked my student why she had to wear a kimono to answer her English-speaking guests' questions, she said that the people who run this hotel felt that foreign visitors expected it and find it more appealing when they visit Japan. The hotel is very expensive and caters to well-heeled international business travelers so this isn't some homespun ryokan (traditional Japanese inn) with an idiosyncratic little shacho (president) imposing his notions on the staff. It's the equivalent of the Hilton hotel without the embarrassing heiress to drag down its reputation.
Part of me feels that this is simply good business but part of me, the part that feels sorry for my student for having to parade around in a kimono all day when it has nothing to do with the service she offers, that this is no more than catering to foreign stereotypes of Japan as the land of sumo, rikshaws, Fuji and geisha. It also has just a whiff of being patronizing toward foreign guests who the Japanese may feel just aren't ready to cope with the realities of modern Japan.