Many thanks to Anna Kase for sending in the following information.
Much has been written about Kyoto’s maiko, the famous apprentice geisha (properly called geiko in Kyoto) who entertain wealthy guests with traditional music, dance, songs, games and good conversation. In the past it was quite difficult for overseas visitors to gain access to the traditional tea houses where maiko and geiko entertained guests. In fact even today local people cannot gain access to such establishments without a personal introduction from one of their regular guests. Partly because of this, the image of the maiko has acquired a kind of romantic mystique. However, in recent years a number of other venues in Kyoto have been offering tourists the opportunity to enjoy maiko entertainment and to talk with these young ladies over dinner. One such venue is the Higashiyama restaurant, Yasadori Enraku.
Yasakadori Enraku began to hold special maiko dinner shows for foreign visitors this April. The aim is to help people understand better this important aspect of Kyoto culture. During the show guests will enjoy the following:
1. An introduction to maiko and geiko culture from an English speaking guide.
2. A traditional maiko dance performance.
3. Conversation with a maiko.
4. Traditional “ozashiki” games.
5. A photo session.
6. A full course meal of traditional Kyoto cuisine.
7. An all-you-can-drink free beverage service.
The dinner show at Yasakadori Enraku is very popular and so naturally you do need to book it in advance. Guests have a choice between two courses:
Main Tour Course (Group Tour)
Date: Every Tuesday
Time: 18.00 – 20.00
Price: 19,000 yen per person
Location: Dining Hall
VIP Tour Course (Private Tour)
Date: Choose any date (but please make a reservation at least three days in advance)
Time: Any two hour period between 11:00 and 22.00
Price: 2 guests: 39,000 yen per person
3 guests: 35,000 yen per person
4 or more guests: 25,000 yen per person
Location: Private Room
Yasakadori Enraku is located in the Higashiyama district of Kyoto on Yasaka Dori Street and is not far from Kiyomizu Dera Temple, or the south gate of Kenninji Temple. Here is a MAP of the location. For more details please visit the official booking website: http://www.travel-kyoto-maiko.com/
Thanks to Yasakadori Enraku for all images used in this post.
Text and original photographs by Michael Lambe – All rights reserved.