One of the pleasures of visiting Kyoto is the opportunity to see a real live geisha.
Tourists stalk them in the alleys of Gion and Pontocho.
Another bit of sport is spotting the (Japanese) tourists who hire a "geisha" agency to transform them for a day into a geisha.
Essentially, what you do is pay the company - there are several in Kyoto, stocked with kimono, wigs, and makeup - to dress and make you up. A photographer is extra.
Then you tramp around the city's sites having photos taken of you and being stared at.
Though hardly an expert of the clothing and accessories that a real geisha will wear, I still can pick out these faux geisha easily.
1. They wander, during the day, the city in groups of 2 or 3.
2. There is usually a photographer in tow.
3. The women are struggling with their geta (raised shoes).
4. These "geisha" will steal a glance to see if people are looking at them.
The woman pictured above had been riding a rickshaw along Nene no Michi with her photographer. They stopped at the end of the street for a photo.
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Friday, May 15, 2009