Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Do you want to know how to meet maiko ladies?

This weekend, I went to Kyoto for a trip.  You can find some retro streets around Gion area, where I think a good place even for a walk.  If you are lucky, you might be able to see maiko ladies.  I had a chat and walked around and took some photos with them.  It was nice to hang out with ladies in kimono stroll walk around the traditional town.  Do you want to know how to meet this kind of maiko ladies?

Actually, they are Hiro, my wife and Miwa, our tea classmate!  They are not real maiko.  There are some photo studios in Kyoto that make you into a maiko for recreation.  So, if you want to see maiko ladies, be the one yourself or have your partner to be one of them too. 

For the plan Hiro and Miwa tried, it took about 3 hours for the entire activities.  It took about one hour to make up and dress.  They had photo shooting in the studio about 15 min each.  And we had 20 min walk outside at the retro streets around the neighborhood of the studio.  And it took another hour for changing clothes and choosing the best shots for printing.  Hiro and Miwa seemed to have a lot of fun.  Since they are bit of shy, they were bashful about walking outside because people definitely looked at them.  Tourists passing maiko looked back and oftentimes they aimed their camera at the kimono ladies.  You need to be open-minded and enjoy the attention.

Photo shooting in the studio

I didn’t try it myself so I waited for a quite some time at their lounge.  While I was waiting, many groups of ladies came and went.   They all looked excited when they were having instruction at the beginning, and after the photo shooting, they were having fun selecting the photos.  The plan that Hiro and Miwa tried was about 10,000 yen, which includes an option of photo retouch.  They can cover the unnatural gap of the wig and wrinkles, hahaha.   The plan covers three printed photos (no original data) from studio shooting.  The fee varies by the plans and options.  It is a worthwhile activity in Kyoto.  Be a maiko yourself and blend into the traditional city!

The photo studio we visited >>


  1. It's a pity that can not look good as a maiko since I am a blond and blue eyes girl from the USA. But how beautiful are the kimono. Such rich fabric color and patterns. Japanese women are lucky to have such spectacular traditional fabrics to wear. Western clothing is very drab and dull in comparison.

    1. Hi,Thanks for visiting my blog. I think that a blond and blue eyes are also attractive. You are right. Kimono for miko are beautiful with their gorgeous fabric. They are special and you will fell special when you wear them.