• Geisha-spotting in Gion, Kyoto

    by  • November 28, 2012 • - Japan, Travel + Places • 0 Comments

    These are probably the worst shots of my recent Japan trip. Please excuse the blurry, out-of-range images and underexposed photos.

    Japanese thoughtfulness and politeness has rubbed off on me and I can’t seem to get myself to use a flash in these circumstances. I think it’s bad enough that these exquisite ladies are being stalked in the streets.

         A geiko on the way to her next appointment

    We were there on a mid-week night and managed to spot quite a few geiko (usually used to refer to geisha from western Japan, which includes Kyoto) and maiko (apprentice geisha).

     

    maiko is differentiated by their floral hair-ornaments which is very minimal in a geiko. The flowers change with the season.

     

    The most popular area for geisha-spotting in Gion is at Hanami-koji street. The street and alleys here are lined with nice restaurants and the most exclusive and expensive ochaya (teahouses) in Kyoto.

     

    I was told the best time for geisha-spotting would be in the early evening. We hung around from 5 pm and managed to catch a glimpse of geiko and maiko en route to an engagement.

     

    What I find most fascinating about Japan is how modern it can be, and yet still very much steeped in tradition. The existence of geisha till today is just a small bit of Japan’s intriguing and endearing culture.

    All in, this Gion outing turned out to be one of my most rewarding sights.

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