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Kyoto geisha experience I have organized for my guests.

Are you planning to travel to Kyoto? Kyoto is a traditional city in Japan but also it’s very modern. There are lots of things to do in Kyoto. For example, having a look at Geisha, taking a photo of Geisha may be on your Kyoto ” must do “list?

I assure you that the experiences with Geisha make your trip to Kyoto even more memorable. You just need to know where and how you can see Geisha.

If you want to meet a top-class Geisa, you need to book them yourself. You can ask them to come to your dinner or you go to a tea house where Geisha belongs to.

Here is my experience when I asked Geisha to attend a small party I have organized at a restaurant in Kyoto.

With Geisha, you can enjoy Kyoto even more!

Left: Maiko Right: Geiko (they both are Geisha)

Geishas are top class entertainers in Japan. Their job is like an actor, a musician or a dancer. I see people sometimes who have misconceptions of what Geisha is from the Hollywood movie…please, nowadays, it’s totally different.

I have previously hosted a small party at Kyoto’s restaurant. I thought through how can my guests have a great time in this characteristic city, even Japanese are in love with? I decided to have Geisha, one of the symbols of Kyoto, to come to my party.

From the conclusion, this turns out a great success!

Some of the attendees were from overseas and even some of the Japanese had never seen Geisha dancing and talked to them, so it turned to be such a delightful experience for them, they thanked me after the party which made my day.

None of my guests was listening to what Hana was speaking.

Hana
Hana
Hachi
Hachi

Of course not.

What to expect when you are with Geisha at a party or dinner.

Geisha herself is, of course, beautiful, but her hair, hair ornament, kimono, their dancing, their standing behavior, their everything is beautiful like a dream! The closer you look at it, the more breathtaking it is. It is okay to see them since Geisha are aware of their beauty and their own uniqueness which attracts people.

Japanese traditional dancing

Also, you may want to pay attention to Maiko’s high-class obi-band that is packed with jewels and fine work that would probably not be available at this time. The obi-band is a treasure of their tea house for generations. It is said that their tea house has the teaching to their Geisha which is, “When you fall down, protect the obi strap, not your face.”

What’s the difference between Geiko and Maiko?

Geisha includes Maiko and Geiko. Maiko is an apprentice of Geisha and she is still under the training of becoming a professional geisha, which is Geiko. Maiko usually dresses fancier than Geiko such as a colorful hair ornament and their very long Obi (belt) which is almost hanging down to the floor.

Maiko’s beautiful wearings.
Geiko

How can I ask Geisha to attend my party?

Simply talk to the staff of the restaurant you are going to. It is common for Kyoto restaurants to arrange Geisha to their customer’s party or even just a dinner. Kyoto high-class restaurants have a lot of connections, so it’s just a piece of cake for them.

The restaurant will arrange everything for you. You just need to answer the restaurant’s questions such as how many geisha you would like to book and what you want them to do like dancing, talking and playing a game. (*This is called “Ozashiki-asobi”.)

*In spring, Geisha gets busy for the famous Kyoto festival “Miyako-odori”, so it is recommended to book them at least 1month beforehand in this season.

How much does it cost?

At my party, it was 40,000JPY per person for two hours for dancing and talking to my guests.

I asked 1 Maiko, 1 Geiko and 1 Jikata. (*Jikata is a lady who plays a shamisen and sings a song with Geisha lady dancing, so the final price was 120,000JPY for 3 persons for 2 hours.

The price depends on the tea house you ask for. I also paid for their transportation to the restaurant.

Jikata’s shamisen and the song are essential for Geisha’s dancing.

What should I know beforehand?

It is usually not allowed to cancel your booking once you have made it. Also, even if your party or dinner doesn’t start on time for the convenience of the organizers, it is not possible to change the start time of Geisha to match it.

You may be able to have a glance at Geisha in Gion area where lots of tea houses are located ( maybe it’s on your travel book), but you have to wait like forever for Geisha to come around since you don’t know when they come out of the tea houses.

Also, you can not talk to them in person nor take a picture with them even if you finally spot them coming out of the tea houses. They usually just get on taxi right away.

However, if you book yourself a Geisha as above, you can have conversations with them and of course, can take pictures with them together as much as you want!

With Maiko-san.

How about adding this worthwhile experience to your itinerary? Even if you don’t speak Japanese, no worries, you can ask for an interpreter in Kyoto.

ABOUT ME
Hanakanmuri
Hanakanmuri
Hello, I am Hanakanmuri. I love chanoyu, arts and traveling. On this site, I would love to share what's about chanoyu and useful tips if you are thinking of traveling to Japan! I will share the info from a local's point of view, what your guide book doesn't know!