this is for anyone who may have been lucky enough to get to see geisha and maiko in Kyoto. i'm planning to return from my rtw trip via Japan, stopping over in Tokyo but taking the bullet train down to Kyoto for an over night stay.
does anyone have any advice on places that you can see tea ceromonies or other performances by geisha and roughly at what cost?
i believe as well that you can get a second hand kimino for a small fraction of what you would pay for, for a brand new one - if anyone has any recomendations for places to find such shops can you let me know?
i am also having terrible trouble finding a website about the bullet train that I can actually make sense of - if anyone has any decent links can you let me know?
thanks - and sorry i'm asking a lot of questions!
Here is the website to search for Train times and fares in Japan.
You will find that Tokyo to Kyoto is about 2 1/2 hours and will run you about 13,000 Yen one way, which works out to be around 55 pounds. Not really a cheap overnight journey. If all you want to see is Kyoto, then trying to fly into Osaka would make way more sense. They are right next door to each other and only a half hour cheap train ride away.
Sorry, I can't really help with Geishas. I didn't bother looking into performances or anything, but I did see a number walking around the streets.
I saw a maiko in Kyoto - the district you want to head to is the geisha district of Gion. I'm not sure about performances/tea ceromonies though.
There are loads of temples to see in kyoto so its a shame if you only have 1 night there - try and see at least a couple of temples if you can.
Gion Corner (phone 561-1119) have tea cermonies at night. There are many shops for second hand kimonos and yukatas. Check out www.kyotoguide.com. I also suggest you to go to Kyoto international tourist information (10am-6pm) on the 9th floor in iSetan department store which is in the train station building. Arriving with Shinkansen, head for JR train station (that is north, without exit the building) and on the left hand side enter iSetan and take south elevator to the 9th floor. They will give you maps and inform about where you can se Geishas, have tea cermonies, etc. Ask for the Kyoto visitors guide.
/Swede living in Kyoto