Leo Laksi’s Bangkok And Back

Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained

Maiko in Kyoto – Geisha in training

with 4 comments

Created a near riot.

Created a near riot.

A Maiko is an apprentice Geisha, who undergoes five years of training in the arts before they are considered Geisha.  Geishas are still seen with frequency walking the small streets of Kyoto to their next performance.  Usually you can tell the difference between Maiko and Geisha by the younger age of the Maiko and the size of their obi.  There are other differences that are explained in detail here.

On this day, these three Maiko came strolling into the Heian Shrine.  They were inundated by tourists armed with DSLR’s, P&S’s and camera phones.  It was quite a commotion.  They simply maintained their composure, posed for a few photos and kept on walking.

Photos taken with a Nikon D300s and AFS Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII zoom lens.

Large obi typical of Maiko

Large obi typical of Maiko

Still posing.

Still posing.



Head shot.

Head shot.

Pointing the way.

Pointing the way.


Written by leolaksi

April 14, 2010 at 12:32 pm

4 Responses

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  1. Hi there! Very vibrant colors. The Maiko(s?) are beautiful! Well done.:)



    August 15, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    • thanks. you should have seen the crowd of people following them. leo


      August 15, 2010 at 2:50 pm

  2. They’re actually tourists playing dress up (called henshin) but they’re very good henshin. Their studio must be quite good because I like the coordination


    December 15, 2010 at 3:47 pm

  3. maiko hensin, or fake geisha. She is an ordinary girl of whom has visited a “transformation studio’ so that she can be dressed like this for a few hours in order to take photos. Not a real maiko [apprentice geisha] here, sorry. :[
    Don’t worry though, henshin are SOO common during the day, many tourists come to kyoto every year, some come just to see the maiko & do henshin. Its like how u can pay to dress up as a cowboy in those old western towns. Its a fun attraction, but henshin shouldn’t be confused with the real thing :].


    August 29, 2011 at 2:23 am

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