An Affair in GION

being a Geisha or Maiko

The geishas and maikos of Japan are real. They do exist and are still providing their services and performing as they have always been doing since days of old.

They are an old and respected profession in Japan. To become a full fledged geisha, young girls as young as 15 years old are taken into training as maikos for several years until they are deemed ready by their “mother”. During the training years, young maikos are paired with a more experienced maiko or if they are lucky, a fully qualified geisha.

So where do you see them? On the streets of Gion and Pontocho of Kyoto. There is a special performance area called the Gion Corner where you can see them in action. Or you can simply have tea with them. At a price, of course.

Map for Gion Corner

Come to Kyoto and experience the world of Geishas and Maikos. Step back in time and have an encounter with an old world charm of traditional Japan.

Kimono Passport

Wear a Kimono to get Special Privileges. The Kimono Passport is avery popular, small booklet that offers special privileges and discounts if you wear a kimono, with lots of information about Kyoto. You get special privileges at the temple/shrine, art gallery and museums, service in stores and restaurants, and kimono rentals. Please try on a kimono, and take a walk through the old machiya lined streets of Kyoto.

When : Every year from October 1 ~ September 30. *Please note the validity period.
Where to Get : Kyoto Prefecture Tourist Information Center
Address: Kyoto Station Bldg. 2F, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
Phone: 075–343–0548
Time: Open daily from 8:30 to 19:00
Wi-Fi: Free, Internet PCs also available for a fee.

Emasa (Traditional Japanese Wear)

Emasa uses high-quality clothing. They carry a wide selection of maiko and geiko attire.

Address : 228 Hiyoshi-cho, Sayamachi Nishiiru, Shichijo-dori, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto City
Telephone : 075–532–1751
Business Hours : 9:30am — 7:00pm, Open 365 days
How to get there : Keihan Line “Shichijo”.
Fee: Depends on your selection.

Originally published at