1. Best Geisha Experience in Kyoto

Best Geisha Experience in Kyoto

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Masaya Osada

Masaya Osada

Born and raised in Kyoto. I love traveling. The more I was exposed to foreign culture, the more I realized how fascinating Kyoto is. This is why I am writing this English article for you to make your trip in Kyoto much more enjoyable!

Nothing is more appropriate to describe the essence of Kyoto culture than Geisha. No one can deny that they are the symbol of Kyoto culture, but it is pretty rare and difficult even for a local resident of Kyoto. This is because Geisha entertain only those who are familiar with them, but this rule does not mean they are exclusive to aliens. They just hope to know customers well and maximize their skills to satisfy customers. Naturally, it used to be almost impossible for foreign tourists to interact with Geisha. However, since more and more tourist is visiting Kyoto these days, some travel agency enable foreign people to do so. In this article, I would like to show you how interesting to talk with Geisha.

Japanese restaurant, Yasaka Dori Enraku

The tour that I would like to introduce in this article is held on every Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday evening at the Japanese restaurant, Yasaka Dori Enraku. This restaurant is situated near the Gion district, where there are various historical places as well as night entertainment such as a luxurious bar.
The nearest station is Keihan Gion Shijo Station, just 10 minutes walk from the station will bring you to the very charming restaurant. You can enjoy the atmosphere of Gion district as well on the way to the venue. Please check the exact location from Google Map.

When you arrive there, you will be welcomed by English speaking guide will you help your understanding of Geisha. 

As soon as Geisha came into the room, I realized that something invisible has changed because she has the unique and elegant atmosphere that you cannot see on a typical tour.

An English speaking guide kindly explains the detail of Geisha’s costume that can be changeable according to a season. One thing that I learned new is that Geisha is still under 20 and apprentice to become Geisha. (To be precise, Geisha is exceptionally called Geiko only in Kyoto.) Despite that she is young; she behaves professionally to entertain us.

First, Geisha demonstrated traditional dancing that symbolizes the change of each season, and it was fabulous.

After dancing, I was given an opportunity to directly talk with Geisha. To be honest, I was so nervous because I didn’t expect such a great situation. Every time I come across Geisha in the Gion district, I usually end up just seeing them, and regret not being able to speak to them. I asked some questions about her personal life, and what was most surprising was that they are not allowed to have a mobile phone! I cannot imagine such a situation, but it seems that they have to follow the rule to protect the traditional culture of Geisha. In addition to this, I noticed that she speaks Kyoto dialect that makes Kyoto’s culture unique from other Japanese culture.

We enjoyed the simple games with Geisha. Even though the games itself were simple, it was fun.

Since this is the extremely rare opportunity, I could not help taking a picture of Geisha. I was about to forget to take a picture with Geisha, but the staffs allowed me to do so individually. It was a great honor to be able to take pictures. 

Before I let you go, I have to mention their delicious food. They are kind to offer Halal and Vegetarian food as well. Most surprisingly, this tour cost only 19,000 JPY including dinner and alcoholic/soft drinks such as Japanese Sake and Beer!

Related article: Fushimi Sake – one of Kyoto’s cultural assets

Overall, this is the excellent chance especially for foreign tourist to interact with Geisha. I am pretty sure that joining this tour is the once in a lifetime experience, and you will never forget such a precious time. If you come to Kyoto by any chance, I strongly recommend you!

Would you also like to join this tour? Then, here is the application form to make an online reservation form here.

Author Profile

Masaya Osada
Masaya Osada
Born and raised in Kyoto. I love traveling. The more I was exposed to foreign culture, the more I realized how fascinating Kyoto is. This is why I am writing this English article for you to make your trip in Kyoto much more enjoyable!