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Maiko (Geisha) kyoto

maiko in kyoto

Maiko Kyoto History Recently, Maiko became a symbol of Kyoto as their gorgeous look and sweetness.
Maiko is girls who are before to be a ”Geiko“.
Maiko, Giko are originated from women who served green tea and Dango (Japanese dumpling made from rice flour) to people who visited the Kitano Tenman-gu and Yasaka Shrine (these are the two of the famous shrines in Kyoto) at teahouses in the temple town about 300 years ago.
At first, women served only green tea and dango, but they gradually started to perform songs and dances with beautiful Kimono for visitors to obtain the marketing share.
This is the origin of Maiko.

to be a maiko

kyoto maiko sister If a person want to be a Maiko, contact with an ”Okiya“ where educate and produce as a production office. The age, looks, height, weight, physical toughness, documentation and interviewing are factors to start for education. After that the person passed is able to present appropriation check training.
If the person passes the training, finally she can start a real training of Maiko in Okiya.
The trainee calls ”Shikomi-san“ and she helps her senior and study manners, special expression of Maiko. One year later, she takes an exam to be an apprentice ”Minarai“.
When Minarai become a Maiko, she exchange cup of sake with her senior who helps her matter and mind to reinforce their relationship like a real sisters. The new Maiko's name takes one of the symbols of her older new sister's name. After this ceremony, both of them help each other as real sisters.
Around 20 yrs old, Maiko have to change to Geiko, ”Jimae-san“.
And she has to prepare food, clothing and shelter which were prepared by Okiya when she was a Maiko. And the schedule management, other details have to do by her self but she can take more private time.

Personal appearance of Maiko Kyoto

Personal appearance of Maiko


Obi is sash for Kimono and Maiko's sash has unique style. The sash is almost reaching to her ankle. The length of sash is more than five meters long and it is heavy. Minarai-san prepares Obi as half length of Maiko which calls ”Half Darari Obi“.


Ornamental hairpin which uses Maiko calls ”Hana Kanzashi“. Hana Kanzashi of Maiko is gorgeous and elegant which is ruled depends on the season and month.


From Minarai-san to the end of 1st year Maiko put lipstick only on lower lip. As maturing, she puts lipstick in upper and lower lips. Basically, she put less makeup until 2nd year of Maiko.


Okobo is a Maiko's lacquered wooden clogs which has bottom hollow with a bell.
It has around 10 cm height and a younger uses red thong and as her age its color approximate to white. Of course, a rainy day or to walk a slope uses a Japanese sandal.


The neck and Kimono patterns change depends on her age. Maiko uses red color neck but Geiko uses white color. And the pattern of Kimono for Maiko is larger flamboyant but Geiko uses more chic type.

A day of Maiko

Maiko's a day starts from training for her profession during the day time. And the night time, working in some dinner parties in a room covered with Tatami mats ”Ozashiki“. Between the trainings, making several visits to her senior sister Geiko, to previous day's Ozashiki and other Geisha who worked with previous night, and today's Ozashiki. In the evening, she starts to prepare. That's why people can meet a real Maiko during the evening.
Around 18 p.m., she visits Ozashiki and start to introduce dancing and Ozashiki playing to liven up the atmosphere.
When held a large party in Kyoto, always arrange Maiko and Geiko. Sometimes they present to a foreign event and others. Lately, there are some exposures to mass media advertising, too.

Anual Events of Maiko

Anual Events of Maiko Kyoto

Making visit for new year and ceremony for resuming work after new year.

Gion Festival

dedicate dance of Setubun (demolish devils ceremony)

Making visit of Hassaku, dedicate dande of Gion festival

Kyo Odori festival

Jidai Festival, Mizuekai performance

Public performance event

Making visit of the end of the year, etc.

ochaya ozashiki Kyoto Maiko

ochaya ozashiki topics

A little manner in Ozashiki

Be prompt. Ozashiki joins Maiko and Geiko in time calculating the client arrives. At the same times dishes are preparing with the schedule so do not be late.
No Madam or Misses Call their name always with ”san“ or senior sister ”Neesan“ or ”Oneesan“. When you aks their name perhaps she gives you a special business card ”Senja-fuda“.
No eating Maiko and Geiko drinks but they never eat.

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