Time when You Can Get Close to Maiko (June 27, 2017)
In the last week of June, humidity in Kyoto has been getting higher and higher which makes me feeling bad. However, when I see beautiful hydrangeas around the restaurant Yasaka-dori Enraku, I realize that this rainy season is not that bad.
｜Who are Maiko?
Our MC Ms. Fujimono is very knowledgable about maiko as she’s been working as a certificated guide of Kyoto City. She helps each guest to learn about the culture of maiko and geiko in two hours.
The maiko of the evening is Kanohiro. She is wearing hair accessories of green willow leaves, which represent a seasonal plant of June. On her dark blue kimono, willow leaves and crane birds are drawn. It also makes us feel the seasonality of June. The color of her seven-meter obi is light yellow. The contrast of dark blue kimono and light yellow obi looks sophisticated and green hair accessories also add color contrast to the perfect combination.
We see different maiko every time of the tour. Not like our modern clothes, every kimono is unique since it’s made by a kimono craftsman, so we can see them in different kimono. It’s nearly impossible to find the exact same kimono in Gion. Who will come to your evening? How is her kimono? You’ll find the answers for the questions when you join our tour!
｜Maiko’s Dance Performance
It feels like it’s not necessary to hear detailed information of maiko’s dance performance.
The explanation about the dance is, of course, very helpful to deeply understand her dance, but we’re able to notice something very new and meaningful without the explanation. Maiko tell guests her massage by her well-trained dance.
｜Conversation Time with Maiko
The guest from France currently works in Tokyo, but she’s staying on her short break. She learned that Kyoto has a completely different culture with what she can feel in Tokyo by talking with Kanohiro.
She was given Kanohiro’s name sticker, called “Hana-meishi.” People say that money comes fluttering when the stickers are kept inside of wallets. The Japanese word for that something comes fluttering to someone is “maikomu”. It sounds very similar to the word “maiko”, so it’s why Japanese people started to believe that maiko’s stickers give them good lucks. The guest enjoyed to learn the traditional Japanese culture through the name sticker.
Since the last week, the staff has began to wear Yukata, summer style kimono! It’s relatively easy to wear yukata compared to usual kimono, so it’s well recommended to go for a stroll in the city wearing yukata.
Like this picture, the staff will take pictures during the conversation time with maiko. Hope these pictures will remain as great memories of the evening.
｜Playing Games with Maiko
After the conversation with maiko in person, it’s finally time to play fun games with maiko.
We had him as the first player against Kanohiro, he was so brave!
He played the game without a practice, so he lost the game! Maiko are very good at the game since they play it almost every day. When guests lose the game, they have to chug a glass of beer or tea while she’s singing a unique song. Her song is so cute, so it takes a loser’s mind off mortifying feelings.
Everyone was beaten the game against maiko and tried to chug a glass of beer.
However she stoped a series of reverses! She was the only one who won the game and got the prize.
The second game is “Tora Tora”. Guests also dance and sing with maiko during the match. Three different groups of guests became one team in the end of the game.
This couple from the U.S. visited Kyoto for a week to learn different cultures. The lady has been interested in the culture of maiko, so she found us while she were looking for activities to see maiko in Kyoto.
They gave us lots of positive comments and some advices, so we’d like to improve our tour as much as it possibly can.
｜Say Goodbye to Maiko
Time to say goodbye to Kanohiro. The two hours passed so quickly.
We wish to see her again in the near future. Thank you Fukuhiro to make such a memorable evening!