The geisha, one of the symbols of Kyoto, is a tradition which has become a symbol of Japan all around the world.
Geisha are women who are specialists in hospitality, as well as being skilled performers in a variety of disciplines including song, dance, shamisen
(a traditional three-stringed musical instrument), and conversation, among others.
They are famous for their gorgeous dresses and striking white makeup.
People are drawn to them from around the world, as their elegance and beauty emanate a sense of classical Japanese beauty.
In Kyoto, the geisha are split into two groups, known respectively as geiko and maiko.
Maiko is the name given to the trainee girls, still in their teenage years. Starting from around age 15, they undergo rigorous training to improve their performance and eventually become fully-fledged geiko - the name given to those geisha who have completed their training.
Currently, the number of geisha is less than 300; their continued existence is held in great importance in Kyoto.
Ozashiki is a traditional-style room where people sit on a straw tatami mattress with a cushion called a zabuton.
It’s a place to sit around a table and enjoy dinner and a drink.
Ozashiki asobi is an activity in which people invite geiko and maiko to such a place in order to enjoy their hospitality, make conversation, watch their performances, and to play some traditional Japanese games.
If you have problems with sitting on the floor - whether you have some kind of leg trouble, or you’re simply not used to it - we can supply legless chairs or horigotatsu
(a traditional-style floor with a hole in which to stretch your legs).
The culture of “no visitors without invitation”
tea houses, where geiko and maiko hold their performances, have a culture of “no visitors without invitation”. Any new customers will need the introduction of a regular; this somewhat closed culture remains in place.
You are unlikely to encounter a real geiko or maiko even within the city of Kyoto. We’re pleased to be able to offer you this opportunity to experience them in person.
Ozashiki asobi: a wonderful experience at a reasonable price!
Time: 6pm – 8:30pm
Price: ¥15,000 / person
Food: Traditional seasonal kaiseki cuisine, including all you can drink
Group size: 10 - 25 people Each group will be accompanied by 1–2 maiko
or geiko and 1–2 English guides.
Restaurant and Location
The restaurant is located on Yasaka Street in the center of Kyoto. This area is one of the most popular sightseeing areas in the city, and is full of beautiful old buildings that lend it that undeniably Japanese feel.
The restaurant is built in the traditional style both inside and out for an authentic Kyoto experience, including beautiful furnishings and a manicured garden.
The kaiseki meal will be dressed up with elaborate seasonal touches. The dinner is fully inclusive of drinks, with beer, sake, and other alcohol on offer, as well as soft drinks.
5pm You will meet your guide, and he/she will show you around the Gion hanamachi
– or geisha district – on the way to the restaurant.
6pm Ozashiki asobi
The guide will give a detailed explanation of maiko
and geiko, talking about topics such as their clothes and history.
The maiko will serve you drinks; please chat with her as you enjoy your meal.
After the maiko has served drinks to all the guests, she will perform two dance routines.
Please sit back and enjoy this traditional and elegant dance.
games – Kompira fune fune & Tora tora
After the dance, you will play a traditional party game with the maiko.
The game is quite simple and anybody can enjoy it.
You might even get a prize if you win! If you lose, though, you might get to experience another Japanese tradition: a little batsu ge-mu (a penalty game!)
Photo opportunities with the maiko.
It’s rare to have a chance to take a photo with a real maiko.
Feel free to take as many photos as you want.
You are allowed to take photos and movies at any time during the evening’s activities.
We can guarantee you’ll have a great evening in Kyoto’s fun, relaxing atmosphere!
＞Click here for reservation＜
Please note that the event will be canceled if there are less than 10 people registered for the activity 2 weeks before the day.
Price: 8,000 yen～ / person
Number of people: 3–6 guests for 1 maiko and 1 English guide
Location: Ogiya Hangesho
440-13 Nishi-gomon-cho, Shinmiyagawa-cho-dori Matsubara-sagaru,
A stroll around Gion, Kyoto’s biggest hanamachi (geisha district), then
on to Miyagawa-cho, where Ogi Hangesho is located, to play Tosenkyyo.
Miyagawa-cho is close to the Higashiyama area, home to the most
popular temples in Kyoto: Kiyomizudera, Kodaiji Temple and Yasaka
Shrine. However, Miyagawa-cho is not so touristy, and you can feel the
quintessential Kyoto atmosphere on streets lined with old machiya
townhouses, some of which are used as ochaya.
When we arrive at Ogiya Hangesho, you will be treated to two dance
performances by a maiko.
You will then be instructed in the rules of Tosenkyo, and play a round
against the maiko after a bit of practice.
After Tosenkyo, you will have a photo opportunity with the maiko.
You can continue to relax with matcha green tea and Kyo-Namagashi
sweets until the time comes to take your leave.
You will be able to take home the fans used in the game as a souvenir.
Tosenkyo is a game played between two people. The aim is to toss fans
towards a target called a cho, which is placed on a pedestal called a
makura, with the score being calculated according to how the shape
formed by the fans, cho and and makura corresponds to a poem from
the Japanese poetry collection Hyakunin Isshu.
Sounds confusing? The rules of Tosenkyo are actually deceptively
simple. Even beginners and children will be enjoying the game in no
time, as it’s easy to hit the target with just a little bit of practice. The
game is quick to pick up, but due to the esoteric nature of the scoring, it
is also quite profound.
＞Click here for reservation＜
Kaiseki is a traditional Japanese full-course meal.
It includes many dishes, made with seasonal ingredients such as vegetables, beef and fish.
Courses include an appetizer, soups, main courses, and of course, the ever-present rice.
The meal will be dressed up with elaborate seasonal touches. Take some time to appreciate the meal’s appearance, as well as its taste.
The dinner is fully inclusive of drinks, with beer, sake, and other alcohol on offer, as well as soft drinks. Feel free to drink as much as you like at no extra cost.
Geisha are never prostitutes.
They wear very old and highly valuable kimono, and are there to entertain you with their performance and hospitality. Please don’t touch them or be rude to them.
In addition, the ozashiki
room may contain valuable and expensive objects such as hanging scrolls, antiques, and dining plates. Please handle them with care, and enjoy the artistic works from a reasonable distance.