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Geisha in Tokyo 2008/1/14 10:49
Tokyo 23-ku
Is there an area in Tokyo where one might spot a geisha or go to a geisha performance of sorts ?

by Jeffrey  

Geisha 2008/1/14 23:16
There is a chance to see one in the evening in Ginza area. To attend a Geisha performance for foreigners is extremely difficult. The Geisha is a very well educated and sophisticated person who is trained to entertain Japanese visitors by traditional music, reciting classical Japanese poems and helping the guest during the dinner. To appreciate these arts it is essential to be fluent in Japanese. The costs for such an evening are in the 300 000 Yen to 400 000 Yen range. BUT: if you want to attend a so called tea ceremony held by a skilled Japanese lady dressed in kimono, there are such performances for visitors in various hotels in Tokyo. OR if you only want to see Japanese ladies dressed in colourful kimonos stroll around Meji shrine on Saturday / Sunday when wedding ceremonies take place.
by Peter rate this post as useful

geisha 2008/1/15 10:05
Your chances of spotting a geisha in Tokyo are very small- I have lived here 9 years and have seen just one- or a woman dressed as a geisha in any case- getting into a taxi near the station I use. I worked in Ginza for 2 years and didn't see any there.

Your chances are far higher in Kyoto, although it would be almost impossible to see a performance for the reasons mentioned above.
by Sira rate this post as useful

Tokyo six Hanamachi 2008/1/15 10:19
Shinbashi (near Ginza), Akasaka, Yoshicho, Kagurazaka, Asakusa, Mukojima and Hachioji are the so-called "Tokyo Roku-Hanamachi (six Hanamachi of Tokyo)". You might be able to spot geisha in those districts, although I personally have gone to some of these districts many times and never spotted one.

I also found a blog on Asakusa geisha.

The blog has a link to a Hatobus guided tour, but double-checking, I notice that they don't run geisha tours at this moment. Wish you luck!
by Uco rate this post as useful

I agree . . . 2008/1/15 10:30
. . . about Tokyo's scarcity of Geishas. Some may dress like Geishas but the authentic ones have the scalloped profile at the back of their neck and the high heel clogs. And they are usually accompanied by an attendant.

You have good chances in Kyoto; I would say hang around the Kiyomizudera Temple area around 10 am-2 pm and chances are good daily. I think they do it to promote tourism. Of the five times I've been to Kyoto, I've seen them three times, and I wasn't trying.

Sakata City and Kanazawa are also two other places with Geisha districts.

I often wondered how much they charge. The lady at the Geisha museum in Kanazawa was trying to tell me but had trouble with the zeros. 5000 something. I figured $500 U.S. per hour but from what Peter said, seems more like $5,000 for the evening.

They have a show on Skyperfect TV about these two old guys who go traveling all over Japan (don't know the name of the show). But they did a show on Geishas and you got to see how they entertain during a session.
by Clevor rate this post as useful

Geishas 2008/1/15 11:56
I heard that many of the geishas aroung Kiomizudera in Kyoto are actually Japanese tourists that go to special stores to be made up, dressed up etc. it cost them 10-20 000 yen.
english/index.html one of their studio is in the Kiomizu area. Real geishas (called geikos in Kyoto) and maikos (apprentice)are more likely to be found in the evening in Gion,dashing from one appointment from the other.
by Sensei 2 rate this post as useful

Thx 2008/1/15 18:54
Thanks for the reply, all.

I found out that there are geisha performances in Kyoto's Gion district during my stay in Japan.(end march + 1st week of april)
Worth the side trip from Tokyo I think !
Just hope to reserve tickets in time.
by Jeffrey rate this post as useful

Why not visit Tanakaya in Yokohama? 2008/1/17 16:22
By the way, geisha performance is usually done at an "o-zashiki", the private dining room at traditional "ryotei" restaurants.

Both ryotei and geisha especially in Tokyo area are facing crisis, since not many people today pay for these proud and expensive services, and also because everyone goes to Kyoto for these things.

But if anyone is interested, there is a nice old ryotei near Yokohama Station (20 minutes by communter train from Shibuya) called Tanakaya.

Tanakaya was established in 1863 and is even drawn on one of the "53 Stages of the Tokaido" ukiyoke paintings as its former name Sakuraya.

In its hay day, the place was filled with big polititians and foreign visitors. Photos imply that the legendary and assassinated Ryoma Sakamoto's widow O-ryo once served as a waitress there.

But guests have decreased over the centuries, and this particular ryotei now wishes to welcome guests in a more casual atmosphere while maintaining their old two story building and the quality of their food. I'm sure they'd love to help a foreign visitor hire some geisha.

I dined there quite recently. They're very expensive of course, but the food was excellent and the service was very home made. Just try to recomfirm (or have someone reconfirm) all your requests through a phone and not just by writing as they seemed to miss out some of the things I requested by email.

This is their official website.
by Uco rate this post as useful

geisha parties in tokyo 2008/5/14 19:21 is the web-site for Japan's first white geisha.
Sayuki can be helpful in arranging evenings at a tea-house with geisha for first-time foreigners and Japanese. You can contact Sayuki through the contact form on her web-site.
by SAYUKI rate this post as useful

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