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Maiko or tourist?

This probably isn’t a real geisha. I saw her on the streets of Kyoto and asked to take her picture. She was likely a tourist who paid to get dressed and made up like a geisha (or more correctly a geiko or maiko since Kyoto has a different term than that commonly used outside of Japan). I should have asked her, but I felt that may be a bit rude.

2 Responses to “Maiko or tourist?”

  1. 1

    You’re probably right. Most of geishas on the streets of Kyoto are not real, they are there just to amuse tourists. Still, she’s wearing a nice kimono.

  2. 2
    aoi neko:

    Actually it depends on what part of Kyoto you were at. If it was Gion, then most of the women there are maiko or geiko. It’s actually not easy to get their photos because most of the time they are on their way to appointments. But sometimes they do events and such and it’s easier to take photos then.

    Best thing to do is to ask people who know who each of the maiko and geiko are in Kyoto. All of the dressed women I saw when I was in Gion were identifiable and are actual working maiko and geiko. It’s not Disneyland there, they don’t hire people to amuse tourists.