1. Best Maiko Makeover Studio Part I: SHIKI

Best Maiko Makeover Studio Part I: SHIKI

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Nanaka Shirasawa

It’ve been 20 years to live in Kyoto. No place to I possibly can live except Kyoto.

Look Inside of SHIKI – Best Maiko Transformation Studio – 

Hello travelers who want to experience something very traditional in Japan! 

Are you looking for a special opportunity which makes your trip memorable? 

Have you ever heard about maiko makeover before? 

In Kyoto, the experience to become a maiko for a day is very popular among female visitors. 

You can have stunning pictures taken by a professional photographer, so I’m sure that the experience will become your lifelong memory. 

However, it’s hard to find differences among several Maiko Makeover studios by just looking at websites. 

I’d like to show you inside of Shiki, one of the best maiko transformation studios! 





◼︎ Maiko Makeover Salon – SHIKI



Every salon competes each other for the best quality makeover, so the general level is quite high. 

Among several best salons, Shiki has something different. It provides skillful makeup and quality photographing. Let’s look at the inside of Shiki today! 




◼︎ Atmosphere in Shiki

Shiki is located at the narrow street near the famous Ninen-Zaka of the Kiyomizu-Sando. The cool entrance of Shiki looks an old-established restaurant. 



Both the entrance and the registration desk are designed as a traditional Kyoto-style house. 



There is the courtyard. Every room is kept very clean and tidy! 



In the pond of the courtyard, beautiful white and red carps are swimming. 



There are 5 different shooting situations, a huge studio with the background of Fushimi Inari, tea room, ordinary Japanese room, special room of the golden wall and the garden. 

You can choose any situations as you like to have a picture of you in a beautiful costume.



There are many items you can have at a shooting spot! Most of them are the same as what genuine maiko actually use. 

I’ve never looked at those items closely, so it’s a worthwhile moment for sure! 

It feels like you’re a real maiko having a photo shooting session! 





◼︎ Plans of The Experience 

You can choose one from several plans in consideration of money availability and what you want to do. 

The studio shoot plan is a package of makeup, wig, kimono, 8 pictures in the studio, an original photo book, a free time to take pictures by yourselves for 10 minuets. 

It normally takes 26,000 yen for one person, but Shiki offers the limited-time discount until August 31. It’s 14,200 yen cheaper than the original price, so it’s only 11,900 yen. Other plans are also discounted over the summer. 

During walking time, you can wear Okobo, Maiko’s wooden footwear, so it may be tiring. 

Many tourists will probably ask you to have a photo with you, so you can feel like you’re a star of the day. 



|Photo Book 



After having lots of pictures taken, you can buy your own photo book made by Shiki. 



So professional. It’s one of the best ways to keep it your special memory. 

The flow of the plan started with makeup, then dressing up kimono, photo shooting at the studio, and walking around the studio. You can choose your kimono from 180 options! 




| At the Studio: Shoto Session 




The professional photographer will advise you the best poses each time.




Maiko usually hold hems of kimono, so the photographer asks customers to do a pose holding the hems. This is the moment when I can see that the staff tries to protect the tradition of maiko by following their strict rules. 

Also, they’re requested not to smile during shooting to prevent that the red lip color sticks on teeth. Every little attention is to get close to genuine maiko as much as possible. 



Shooting outside with an umbrella. Adding a Japanese item makes the picture more gorgeous! 





◼︎ Asked the Staff  – Techniques of Shiki – 


 | Dressing Kimono




Dressing kimono doesn’t take more than 15 minutes. How fast she can do. . . 

All kimono dressers are licensed by professionals, so they use available time efficiently. 





 | Makeup 



According to makeup artists at the studio, they can finish one for 30 minutes. 

They use the same makeup items as ones Maiko use and also follow the same techniques. 

Makeup is done according to a customer’s desire. The modern-style makeup is now more popular than the classic style, which genuine maiko put on. The modern style has a bit heavy eye line and red shadow to make eyes look bigger.  




| Wigs



I’ve been thinking that the biggest different between real maiko and makeover maiko is hair, wig or not. However, girls I see on the day don’t look like they’re wearing a wig. 

It’s because that they choose to wear a half wig, a back-side wig. The hairstyle isn’ completed only with the wig, it also required to style their own hair around the face, so they don’t look wearing a wig. It’s very natural. 




◼︎ Voice of Experienced Girls  



The group of girls comes from the Nara Prefecture shared me the experience to become maiko for a day. 

They wanted to do something very Kyoto, so they chose to visit Shiki to make the best memory. 



Many groups of best friends like the group I met come to Shiki to have a special opportunity as lifelong memories. 





◼︎ Information 

Plans and Prices: 











web site : 





I visited Shiki and saw customers experiencing to be maiko in front of me. During the visit, I could feel the high-level customer service by the staff. 

Makeup artists, kimono dressers, and photographers, all of them have skillful techniques to make a customer’s day a precious one. 

Every customer gets surprised at their changed appearance for the first three minutes, but they enjoy being maiko after that.

Why don’t you visit Shiki to make your dream to become maiko come true? 





Author Profile

Nanaka Shirasawa
Nanaka Shirasawa
It’ve been 20 years to live in Kyoto.
No place to I possibly can live except Kyoto.