Okiya Kyoto |maiko san|

There is nothing quite like a first hand encounter with maiko san. The thrill is hard to describe, the mixed emotions of meeting them in their okiya many thoughts rush through your mind.

Their training is intensive and maiko san learn the ways of Kyoto tradition, a protected way of life. No cell phones, a shikomi is a girl who is invited into the okiya for one year to access her ability to learn the basics of the dance, music, etiquette and the Kyoto dialect. After a year of intensive learning if she passes she can start the life of a maiko san.

For five years she will practice and train the traditions of maiko san and many learn dance called “Kyo Mai” which originates from the Nô theater. At the time Nô was forbidden for woman and so they learned the a rarefied classical Japanese dance named “Jiuta Mai”. In Kyoto Geishas eventually transformed dance and created their own “Odori” dances for the evenings with customers.