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The Best Geisha Tours in Kyoto, Japan


The Best Geisha Tours in Kyoto, Japan

The Best Geisha Tours in Kyoto, Japan


In the 1920s, there were around 80,000 geisha — or female professional entertainers in Japan. Today, there are only about 1,000 to 2,000 estimated geisha in the country.


Also called geigi, geisha and maiko (apprentice geisha) are the icons of Japan’s sophisticated traditional culture.

Kyoto is home to the biggest concentration of the remaining geisha — or geiko as they are known here. About 100 geisha and 100 maiko are still working in Kyoto at expensive dinners and private parties.


Are you visiting Kyoto soon? Check out the best geisha tours in Kyoto to see these out of the ordinary entertainers or experience being one first hand.


1. Geisha Tea Ceremony Kyoto

[Geisha tea ceremony | Image Courtesy of Geo Swan / Flickr]

If you want a closer encounter with geisha or maiko, there’s no better option than joining a geisha tea ceremony tour that takes place in an ochaya or traditional teahouse. Ochaya is where geisha and maiko serve and entertain their guests.


Most geisha tours in Kyoto will let you engage with them — drink a cup of matcha (green tea) or sake (rice wine) or play ozashiki asobi (traditional parlor games). Of course, this activity comes with a photo op. Scrimping? Kyoto geisha costume rentals can save the day!



2. Kyoto Geisha Makeover

[Geisha makeover | Image Courtesy of sasint / Pixabay]

Dressing up and looking like a real-life geisha is one of the most popular geisha tours in Kyoto. Who doesn’t want to pull on a colorful kimono and silk obi and get an enchanting Geisha makeup?


In most geisha makeovers, the package includes a short photoshoot in an ochiya or teahouse-inspired studio or outdoors. To dress up as a geisha is so common among women, but geisha makeover can also be done by men if they wish to.



3. Geisha Dining Experience Kyoto

[Geisha dining experience | Image Courtesy of Renfield Kuroda / Flickr]

Geisha and maiko are elusive, so getting up close and personal with them is a real feat for international tourists. That’s Kyoto dining with maiko or geisha makes for a great bragging right for many people. If you want a cozy dinner with a geisha or maiko, that’s possible in Kyoto.


In most geisha tours in Kyoto, they have different kaiseki (traditional multi-course dinner) options for you to choose from — a full kaiseki course, a half kaiseki course, or a 2-hour kaiseki dinner. Often dinners with a geisha include a dance performance. Note though that this experience can get really expensive, especially for full-course sessions.



4. Geisha Walking Tour

[Maiko spotted in Gion | Image Courtesy of Han Min T / Unsplash]

Looking for a more exciting, action-packed geisha spotting experience? Join a geisha walking tour in Kyoto where tour guides or agencies will bring you to the most common areas to spot geisha and maiko. These tours often involve just strolling around Gion Kobu, Hanami-koji, Shirakawa Canal, or Minamiza Kabuki Theater.


Though you can do Gion geisha spot on your own, having a tour guide can help you find them in the right places and learn from the locals first hand.



5. Geisha Performance Kyoto Tour

[Private Maiko performance | Image Courtesy of Wang Xi / Unsplash]

If you are looking for a more relaxed and entertaining geisha tour, a geisha or maiko performance show is the best thing to experience. This form of entertainment is a unique Kyoto experience and something that will truly make you appreciate geisha and maiko because this is what they are mainly trained for.


But like a geisha dining experience, geisha shows in Japan are a bit expensive. Check out geisha tours in Kyoto as they offer various geisha performance tours for a range of budgets.


Kyoto is the heart of Japan and has rich history and culture. Our walking tours will show you why. On our Walking Tours you will learn about the Old and New Kyoto, tradition, religion, history, food, and culture. Free Walking Tours in Kyoto | Kyoto Walking Tours. Book your free walking tour of Kyoto today.


Free day and night walking tours of Kyoto

Kyoto is heart of Japan and have the rich history and culture. Our walking tours will show you why. You will learn about the Old and New Kyoto, tradition, religion, history, food, and culture.

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Photos Provided by Mon petit voyage a Kyoto