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Gion: Geiko Chasing in Hanami-koji

Posted on 12 March 2012

Travel Date: 30 October 2010
Location: Gion area, Kyoto

Gion (祇園) is probably the most famous area in Kyoto, known by the fame of the geisha district. And Hanami-koji (花見小路) is the place in Gion if you wish to meet one. In Kyoto, a geisha is normally called “geiko” and a geiko apprentice is called “maiko”.

Spot the geiko or maiko

Hanami-koji is a beautiful street but it’s quite impossible to enjoy the atmosphere of this place fully as tourists are everywhere, and everyone is hoping to catch a glimpse of a real geiko or maiko. Well, I did manage to see one (above photo), walking in very fast pace, came out from a shop to another. Behind her were a few people following with cameras. Felt a lil sorry for her, although she is probably already used to it.

Love Kyoto for all these traditional Japanese style houses

On the ground, telling me where am I heading

Hmm, maiko inside?

There are also studios which provide services for tourists to be dressed in kimono (in winter), yukata (in summer), or even as a maiko. Therefore for the most of the time, if you see a geiko or maiko walking gracefully on the street (posing for photos), they’re most likely not the real ones. Just my two cents. Lols!

How To Get There

  • The closest station is Gion-Shijo station (祇園四条駅), less than 5min walk from there

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