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Insider Blog

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[PR] Authentic Geisha Experiences in Kyoto with MAIKOYA

Insider Blog

art_craft coffee_matcha

[PR] Authentic Geisha Experiences in Kyoto with MAIKOYA

Among Kyoto’s most unique treasures are its most hidden, and perhaps none are more mysterious than the world of Kyoto’s highly-trained entertainers, its geisha (the word for “geisha” in Kyoto is “geiko”) and maiko (young apprentice geiko). Despite their fame and appeal, the world of geisha and maiko may seem inaccessible for most visitors from overseas, as entrance has long been by invitation only. Luckily, though, it’s not impossible to get a glimpse of their artistry and tradition: KYOTO MAIKOYA is a service that connects visitors with authentic Japanese cultural experiences, from tea ceremony to kimono, calligraphy to the world of samurai tradition, and of course to the world of geisha and maiko.

One Step Deeper

Unique about KYOTO MAIKOYA is its dedication to helping guests to truly learn and understand the history and meaning behind these unique Japanese traditions. Its staff are knowledgeable about the arts they introduce, and are happy to answer questions. They’re also able to provide multilingual support in English, Chinese, and Spanish.

A Wealth of Experiences

KYOTO MAIKOYA’s shop is located conveniently in downtown Kyoto’s Shijo Kawaramachi ar-ea, just minutes from the station, and yet its interior is calming and spacious.
Here, visitors can be dressed in kimono (the “Geisha Tour” includes dressing in a kimono and a walking tour in Gion) from the shop’s selection, and have their hair done in styles that suit the traditional dress. For those who’d like to take home a photograph as a memento, there is plenty of room to pose in front of the elegant photo backgrounds prepared in the shop, and a stroll through Gion in a kimono rented from KYOTO MAIKOYA is a popular activity for many honeymooners.

Only in Kyoto: Tea Ceremony, Dance, and Conversation with a Real Geisha

In the rooms upstairs, visitors can experience a real treat. KYOTO MAIKOYA offers a variety of different styles of tea ceremony to its guests, and one of its most special is its “Geisha Tea Ceremony,” which is performed by a maiko, or apprentice geisha. 
After the tea ceremony is performed, guests are welcome to have a chat with the maiko through an interpreter, and take some commemorative photos together. This is also a great option for a honeymoon in Kyoto.
 

Walking Tours in Gion

Any visitor to Kyoto can take a stroll through the famous Hanamiko-ji Street in Gion, but the experience is so much richer with a guide to point out the details hidden in plain sight. Guided on KYOTO MAIKOYA’s tour, visitors will learn why the houses on this street are constructed the way they are, and how to tell apart the restaurants here open to the public, and the okiya, or gei-ko houses, where the names of the residing geisha and maiko are displayed on elegant wooden plaques out front. Gion has some particular rules about etiquette, so it’s also helpful to have a guide to explain these rules, and the reasons they exist.
Visitors who book a tea ceremony experience will also be delighted to find an excellent history lesson on this tour of Gion if they choose to take a turn through nearby Kennin-ji Temple. The temple grounds include a small crop of tea leaves brought to this location by the Buddhist monk Eisai, who is credited with not only helping to popularize tea-drinking in Japan, but with introducing Zen Buddhism.
The content of these tours can also be slightly modified to accommodate guests’ different interests.

Extraordinary Experiences, Even From Afar

As the world has adapted to new challenges posed by the coronavirus, KYOTO MAIKOYA has also adopted new precautions to ensure the safety of all of its guests, including the use of hand sanitizer, masks, and facial guards. KYOTO MAIKOYA even offers some online services perfect not only for social distancing, but for experiencing the magic of Kyoto even from far away, such as meetings with geisha and an interpreter.
Just next door to KYOTO MAIKOYA is its Samurai and Ninja Museum, which offers wonderful experiences for family visitors. KYOTO MAIKOYA also offers a Kids’ Tea Ceremony, which is shorter and tailored to youngsters, who may want to have a bit of orange juice at the end instead of the traditional, bitter matcha tea.
Whatever your preference, KYOTO MAIKOYA is sure to have flexible options to help connect you with the parts of traditional Japanese culture that most fascinate you. 
 
KIMONO TEA CEREMONY KYOTO MAIKOYA
Address: 565-4, Nakanocho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto, 604-8042, Japan
Access: 45 second walk from Kawaramachi Station Exit 9 on the Hankyu Line, or a 6 minute walk from Gion Shijo Station Exit 4 on the Keihan Line