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Travel Story by Helga McGilp

  In Search of a Geisha
Kyoto, Japan

Helga visited Gion, the famous geisha district to spot the few remaining geishas in Kyoto. The best chances of spotting one of Kyoto's authentic painted ladies is in the back streets of Gion.

It felt like attending the Oscars with several tourists hurrying to take the best photos.

According to Lonely Planet - Japan - "Knowledgeable sources estimate that there are perhaps 80 maiko (apprentices) and just over 100 geishas in Kyoto.... It is thought that there are less than 1000 geisha and maiko remaining in all Japan"

Patrons may pay $3,000 to spend an evening in the company of two or three geishas. It is impossible for tourists to enter a teahouse and watch a geisha performance without an established patron or by invitation.

Click on photo to enlarge


Date Submitted:
04 Nov 2007

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