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Private Dinner with a Geisha
"This experience is a guided tour with a private dinner with one maiko. This is a truly private and authentic party arrangement with a privately arranged maiko for approximately two hours. This includes a guided tour and Japanese dinner course. You may choose from two options: a half Kaiseki course option in a room with others or a full Kaiseki cour or Kaiseki ryouri is a traditional multi-course Japanese dinner that came about originally when monks would ward off hunger with warm stones. Due to the half Kaiseki option being in a room shared with others voices from neighboring tables may be overheard. But there will still be one maiko with her undivided attention to the room.For the full Kaiseki course at the Japanese restaurant’s private room there will be one maiko there specifically for your room.Both half and full Kaiseki meal options will meet at 5pm at the Minamiza theater and will go on a guided tour of the geiko and maiko district. Then at around 6pm
From JPY16,000.00
 
Private Highlights of Kyoto Tour
"The tour starts at 9am from the Hotel Granvia Kyoto in the JR Kyoto Station building. You are requested to select one of two different courses Northwest-bound course or the Southeast-bound course. The Northwest-bound course visits the Bamboo Grove the Rock Garden (Ryoanji Temple) the Golden Pavilion and the Nijo Castle or the Nishiki Market. The Southeast-bound course visits the Sake Brewery the Fushimi Inari Taisha the Sanjusangendo Temple the Kiyomizudera Temple and the Ninenzaka or Sannenzaka Slope.Tour ends at 4pm near the Gion area
From JPY10,000.00
 
Nighttime Tour of Kyoto by Bus
"Enjoy a tour of Kyoto’s enchanting night scenery with English narration. This bus will pick you up from one of 5 designated starting points and take you to the UNESCO World Heritage sites such as the Five Story Pagoda of To-ji Temple Nishi-Honganji Temple and Nijo Castle as well as the Outenmon gate of Heian Jingu Shrine and Yasaka Shrine. The bus will also visit Shijo Kawaramachi and the Gion district at the heart of this ancient city with Heian Jingu Shrine and Chion-in Temple specifically illuminating their shrine and temple especially for this tour! All of these locations are lit up in a beautiful fashion that highlight both the architecture and culture against the beautiful night """Enjoy a tour of Kyoto’s enchanting night scenery with English narration. The bus tour will take you around UNESCO World Heritage sites including To-ji Temple Nishi-Honganji Temple and Nijo Castle
From JPY2,100.00

Geisha and Maiko Tips (15)

Geisha

Geisha, also known in Kyoto as Geiko, are traditional hostesses and entertainers for Japanese men. They are perhaps best known for their elaborate kimonos and white face paint, though geisha apprentices, called maiko, more commonly wear the bright white paint. While many observers believe geisha are prostitutes, traditionally geisha and prostitutes were different and distinct professions in Japan. While Japan once had an estimated 80,000 geisha, today the number is down to 1,000 to 2,000 geisha, most famously in Kyoto, but also in other cities including Tokyo.

In Kyoto, the Geiko districts are called Hanamachi, or flower towns. There are five distinct Hanamachi in Kyoto, Gion Kōbu and, Miyagawa-cho, Kamishichiken, and Ponto-chō. Four of these five areas are located around Gion Shijo Station on both sides of the river. Kamishichiken is the only area outside of the city center, but it is small with only about 25 geisha and maiko.

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Ewingjr98
Oct 06, 2013

In Gion at a Geisha bar....

In Gion at a Geisha bar. Again, this was only possible via an introduction. The Geisha were more sophisticated than the Maiko. They focused on the male members of our party. I asked a friend who often attends functions where Geisha are invited to entertain and she told me this was perfectly normal. Women don't go to Gion bars. The Geisha in this picture was taking part in the Gion Odori (yearly Geisha dance) the next day, yet here she was up in the early hours of the morning the night before!

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j-san
Aug 26, 2010

GEISHA

A geisha is recognised by the more subtle kimono (robe-like dress). It is often not as bright and colourful as the Maiko's (pls see sep tip). The kimono only got one colour most of the time and it's based on tradtional Japanese themes. Also the obi (the broad 'waistbelt') is more subtle than the Maiko's. A geisha wears white collars under the kimono and this is a sign of maturity. While a Maiko wears tall okobo (clog-like laquered shoes) a geisha wears flat ones called zohri. Both geisha and maiko got a full white make-up and very red lips.

A geisha is trained in entertainment skills such as dance, singing and playing Shamisen (a 3-stringed guitar-like instrument) but they should also be refined in the art of conversation. A geisha is a carer and entertainer of men visiting a tea house.

In Kyoto it is very popular to be 'geisha for a day'. In Gion you can get the full makeup and rent a kimono for the day and head out on the streets to get the feel of people staring at you and want to take pictures. So if you are after a picture of a real geisha sticking to the teahouses in Gion is a hot tip. On wooden boards on the walls you can see how many geisha or maiko work at the teahouse (pls see seperate tip).

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Since I didnt have a pic of a geisha I borrowed this one from: http://www.pixelparadox.com/pic/images/geisha.jpg
*******

Pixiekatten's Profile Photo
Pixiekatten
Mar 29, 2008

MAIKO

A maiko is a geisha apprentice and as far as I know they are only found in Kyoto. A maiko can be recognised by the differences on her kimono and obi. They are often a bit more colourful and brightly coloured than the the ones of the more mature geisha. Also the obi is often much longer and tied in a different way. (The obi is the broad 'belt' around her waist. And kimono the dresslike 'robe'). A maiko wairs large wooden clog-like shoes called okobo - they force her to take very small steps which by old Japanese tradition is considered very attractive.

A girl can become a maiko at the age of 16 now days since all children must attend high school by law. The apprenticeship is usually 5 years so at 21 a maiko could become a geisha. The training consists of dance, Shamisen, singing as well as learning artistic pursuits. A maiko must also learn the social graces and old style Kyoto dialect.

On the walls on the tea houses in Kyoto there is wooden board telling how many maiko and geisha working there. Pls see seperate tip.

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Pixiekatten
Mar 29, 2008
 
 
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Ponto-cho

Ponto-cho which is between Sanjoji-dori and Shijo-dori is a formaer red-right district. There are typical old Japanese houses, shops, restaurants. You can see Miko/Geisha walking but never try to take their photo without permission or in an obvious manner. You will be frowned-upon.

Toshioohsako's Profile Photo
Toshioohsako
Feb 22, 2008

Becoming a Geisha...even if only for a day

It is said that there are between 100 and 150 Maiko and Geisha in Kyoto so if your intent on seeing one, without going through the complex process of official introductions and paying a wad of cash, you may have some luck if you hang out in the Gion district or around Ponto Cho.
I spotted my first Geisha in a black taxi, riding shotgun & looking downcast, with two old Japanese businessmen in the back seat. It was a pretty exciting moment. If you don't have the time to hang around these areas you may want to try going to a photo studio which specializes in photographing people in Geisha costumes. They will first do your makeup in the Geisha style, dress you in ornate gowns which could take about an hour, then photograph you in their studio. Afterwards they'll take the client into their sitting room and conduct the business of paying (about $150 usd) whicle serving you delicous green tea & sweets.

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BorderHopper
Jan 09, 2005

Geisha & Maiko

Geisha are the refined women who are versed in the arts that entertain guests. They are as much a symbol of Japan as any of the sights in the country. They are definately not to be confused with prostitutes. Maiko are Geisha in Training

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Blatherwick
May 10, 2004

Maiko won´t stop for a picture

If you go to Gion at the beginning of the evening to make some pictures of Maiko, bear in mind they won´t stop for you!

They run on their high healed shoes through the streets to their next appointment. So take a fast film in your camera.....

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tompt
Aug 07, 2003
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joiwatani

"Kyoto is a must see for every tourist in Japan!"
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Rabbityama

"Cultural Capital Kyoto"
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bkoon

"WORLD OF ITS OWN (Kyoto,Nara,Osaka,Himeji & Kobe)"
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Pixiekatten

"KYOTO - THE HEART OF JAPAN"
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toonsarah

"City of two thousand shrines"
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Geishas: Maikos and Geikos

In Japan there are Geishas but in Kyoto they are called Geikos, the young ones (a kind of a geisha in practice, learning the profesion) are called Maikos.
It´s not easy to see them but if you are lucky you can see some of them walking in the streets going to work.

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crazyguitar
Sep 30, 2002

How do you learn the Art of a...

How do you learn the Art of a Geisha? Nowadays, since there aren't too many people who are willing to endure the rigorous training, the number of geisha is decreasing. Young girls who wish to become a geisha are usually introduced to an 'o-chaya' through someone who has a connection to the teahouse. The head woman of an o-chaya, called 'okami', interviews the girl and her parents, and provides details of the training. If the okami accepts the girl as an apprentice to her o-chaya, the girl can begin her training immediately and live in the o-chaya. Once in training, the girl cannot quit for 5 to 6 years. Along with doing chores around the house, the young girl learns customs and social skills and begins music and dance lessons. After about a half-year, she becomes a young geisha called a 'maiko.' From this point she develops the knowledge on how to interact with customers by accompanying the geishas. Once the girl decides to officially become a geisha, a ceremony is held entitled 'erigae.'
However, one does not have to learn the life of a geisha by living in Gion. There are ways you can incorporate the ancient practice of a geisha into your modern life. With some practice, patience and a little planning even the most dull relationship can get a healthy boost from this. In order to become the geisha girl - first and foremost you need to ensure that your attitude is good. Feel the power within yourself to be someone who can deliver sensuality to your partner.

Geisha_Girl's Profile Photo
Geisha_Girl
Aug 26, 2002

If you really want to see...

If you really want to see Geisha and don't have a friend to introduce you, your hotel MIGHT be able to organise something. Otherwise the annual dances, such as the Gion Odori, Miyako Odori etc. are a good way to go. Easy to book by your travel agent and inexpensive.

j-san's Profile Photo
j-san
Aug 26, 2002

I was lucky to go to dinner...

I was lucky to go to dinner with a Maiko - young apprentice Geisha. A kind and well-placed Japanese friend organized it. What did I learn? Kimiko studies English in her spare time, learns the shamizen and all the other fine arts required, loves shopping and Japanese pop music. She was a good conversationalist and kept everyone included at all times. After she left, we were all lost for words for a while.

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j-san
Aug 26, 2002

Things to Do Near Kyoto

Things to Do

Kyoto Aquarium

The Kyoto Aquarium opened on March 14, 2012 making it one of the city's newest attractions. It features exhibits of Kyoto's aquatic fish, Japan's giant salamanders, seals, penguins, crabs, and a...
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Museum of Kyoto

This small museum set in a Meji era building highlites the history of Kyoto along with hosting special exhibits. The museum is not worth going out of your way for but is worth a visit if you are in...
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Things to Do

Shosei-en Garden

Shosei-en was created in 1653 by a priest from Higashi Honganji Temple and belonged to the temple and was used as a detached residence. It was originally quite vast, extending all the way to the...
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Things to Do

Kyoto International Manga Museum

This museum houses a collection of manga (comic books) not only by Japanese authors/illustrators but international artists as well. Found TinTin comic books in French too! A good opportunity for kids...
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Kaleidoscope Museum

The Kyoto Kaleidoscope Museum is a small but fun museum, especially if you have kids. Explanations are in English and Japanese, although most of the kaleidoscopes are easy to try on your own. There...
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Things to Do

Nishiki Market

Nishiki Market is a traditional shopping street in Central Kyoto, that has been here for centuries. It is said that the first shop here opened in 1311, and the area became a fish market in the 16th...
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Getting to Kyoto

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