Selfies of a Geisha

Alright, my title may be slightly inaccurate, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity.

During my time in Kyoto I indulged in the delight of dress-up and immersed myself in the (perhaps glorified) image of Kyoto’s Geishas. As part of a small group I headed to the Gion district for an early morning transformation.

We favoured frugality over accuracy and dressed up as “Maiko“, apprentice Geishas who are typically teenagers. Over an hour and a half, we were dressed in makeup, kimonos, and head pieces, a process which is not allowed to be photographed. Although it would certainly be a captivating experience to share, I agree with the opinion that these moments are best kept private, whether to preserve some mystery or simply to immerse yourself completely in the process. Seeing myself in the mirror was shocking, and for the next hour or so I felt anonymous in my disguise.


It’s certainly not an inexpensive experience. Packages range from 6500 yen to 30000 yen, with selection and time limits increasing with price. We did the smallest package: Maiko dress up, which includes a choice from of Kimono, one free photo and an hour taking pictures with your own camera. Although this might make your wallet a little lighter, I can absolutely say this has been one of my most memorable experiences thus far.