Geisha District   艺妓区      
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エリア:東山区   街の楽しみ方: 食べ歩き   街歩き   日本文化体験


  • 食べ歩き   街歩き   日本文化体験

A Centuries old form of entertainment, Geisha and Maiko (the apprentice Geisha) are performing artists in Japan held to high esteem – female entertainers who are not only hostesses, but also classical musicians and dancers.

Some begin their daily training at a very early age, whilst others choose to enter the profession later in life. Either way, you train for life, unless you leave your Okiya – the place where you live, train and are indebted to under contract.
Hired to attend parties and private gatherings at ochaya (teahouses) and ryōtei (traditional Japanese restaurants), no one knows where a Geisha will be called to work and the exclusivity of their company means they are not a common sight. Not only do you have to pay the equivalent of hundreds or even thousands of dollars but, in many cases, you must be invited by another person. Therefore, to behold one within the old streets of the ‘Geisha District’ of Gion in Kyoto, as they make their way to work, is a very special sight indeed.

What is the Best Time to see Geisha?

Geisha and Maiko can start work from as early as 8pm, although the general consensus was that anywhere from 10pm – 11pm would give you a higher chance of an appearance.

Where is the Best Area of Gion?

Gion is now a mish-mash of old narrow alleyways and a modern shopping district with a whole host of department stores. Two areas remain the main hubs where the Geisha are called to work – the narrow and mysterious lantern lit street of Pontocho-dori to the west of the river and Hanamikoll-dori on the opposite side, near to the beautifully preserved Shimbashi Street. The main sightings are of them getting out of a taxi or walking the short way directly to the teahouse.

Difference Between a Giesha and a Maiko?

Geisha normally have more subdued and less elaborate clothing, hair and makeup, whereas Maiko are more colourful and bold – the robe is usually patterned, hangs low at the nape of the neck and the obi (the waist tie decoration) is normally more embellished and long, sometimes hanging as low as the ankles.

- Recommended Movie -
"The Memoir of Geisha"

Kyoto Gokagai - 5 HANAMACHI

Gion Kobu

Gion Higashi





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