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Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Kyoto: Three Girls, Three Days - Page 3

Written by Patti Morrow
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In mid-afternoon, we took a taxi to the Maiko Café in the Gion district where we were transformed into maiko, geisha-in-training, through a three-hour makeover.  We were served green tea and then led upstairs where three Japanese women – including one young woman who was a real apprentice maiko – began the process.  After we changed into their schoolgirl-like protective outfits, the white foundation was painstakingly painted on our face and necks. Eyes were rimmed, lips painted cherry red and adorned black wigs set on our heads.

 

The geisha wardrobe involves many different layers, from the undergarment, long silk kimono with floor-length sleeves, embroidered collar, and cord and obi sash that are wrapped as tight as Scarlett O’Hara’s corset.  The completed outfit is so heavy we could barely move.  And what movement we could muster was further inhibited by the geta on our feet, the high wooden soles of these sandals taking our full attention to maintain in an upright position.

 

Fun photos ensued, indoors and then outside the geisha studio.  We took a slow, deliberate stroll with parasols in hand to a nearby shrine – not an easy feat wearing the heavy kimono and balance-threatening geta, but we giggled and shuffled our way through the cobblestone streets, eliciting stares from passersby.  

Kyoto Geisha Patti 

The geisha head-turning escapade was the highlight of our entire trip to Japan, and well worth the $150 price tag. 

 

©Patti Morrow

 

If you go:

 

* Karasuma Kyoto Hotel:  http://karasuma.kyotohotel.co.jp/english/

* Kyoto Tour:  http://www.viator.com/tours/Kyoto/Kyoto-Full-Day-Sightseeing-Tour-including-Nijo-Castle-and-Kiyomizu-Temple/d332-2142KYO_N100

* Nijo Castle:  http://www.city.kyoto.jp/bunshi/nijojo/  

* The Golden Pavilion:  http://www.kinkaku-ji.or.jp 

* Heian Jingu shrine:  http://www.heianjingu.or.jp/index_e.html

* Sanju-Sangendo :  www.sanjusangendo.jp 

* Kiyomizu Temple:  http://www.kiyomizudera.or.jp/lang/01.html 

* Nishiki Market:  http://www.kyoto-nishiki.or.jp/english/

* Maiko Café:  http://www.gion-souen.com/

* Osaka Castle:  http://www.osakacastle.net/english/

(Page 3 of 3)
Last modified on Friday, 01 November 2013

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