Gion, Kyoto


In which I experienced a full blown transformation.

I am in the Gion district of Kyoto, famous for their ryoteis exclusive Japanese haute-cuisine restaurants and an area where geishas and maikos geishas in training still work and reside.

I stumbled onto one of the many studios extremely popular with tourists where you can experience becoming a maiko.

The one I found, offered a maiko and oiran transformations. Oiran were the original ‘geisha’s — who back in the those days were high, high-end prostitutes… they were more entertainers though, skilled in arts, music, conversation, etc. Of the tens of studios in the area, this one was filled with Japanese and locals (I can tell by their accent) and no foreigners. Couldn’t resist — ended up killing most of my first day in Kyoto here.

It was fun – highly recommended!

My photographer was out of control amazing — we were having so much fun during the shoot, he even threw in a few extra photos (one of them is the one untouched and I look super shiny haha).

Part of the reason my photographs came out so incredible was because the photog gave precise instructions (in Japanese). We also had amazing rapport so I let him pose me any way he wished. I’m afraid if you don’t speak Japanese, you may have a different experience than me…

This is where I went:

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