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Richard | all galleries >> Galleries >> Our Trip to Japan: May, 2014 > Gion (Geisha/Geiko) District in Kyoto
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Gion (Geisha/Geiko) District in Kyoto

Gion is one of Japan's most famous Geisha (Geiko) districts. Shops, restaurants and ochaya (teahouses) are found here. Geiko (the name for Geisha in Kyoto) and Maiko (Geiko apprentices) entertain in ochaya. Ochaya is a traditional establishment for dining and entertainment. It also is called a teahouse. As seen in this photo, ochaya are decorated with a attractive lattice called "kimusuko" on the outer side of the first floor. Japanese-style guestrooms are located on the second floor. Since the 1600's Geisha (Geiko) have entertained in ochaya by performing dances and playing Japanese traditional musical instruments, such as the shamisen (a three-stringed musical instrument), bamboo flute, and drum. Geisha also have served as hostesses in these establishments. Basically Geisha are professional entertainers. They attend to guests during meals and festivals and are skillful in the art of communication. A Geisha's role is to make guests feel at ease and increase their pleasure by conversing with them and entertaining them. Presumably sake also helps.

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