Tête-à-Tête with Geishas

I had a really crazy Sunday last weekend. At first I missed my hiking tour (those who know me well are probably not surprised ^.^ as I’m ALWAYS late. On the other hand that trait runs in the family and I won’t fight my gens) I thought it would be another lousy Sunday… when the thought came to my mind. How about turning this day into really exciting one. So I followed my rule – try things that you didn’t try before, so first I went to the Nishimi market in Kyoto which is quite big market in the centre of Kyoto and bought this little octopus on the stick – isn’t it kawai (cute)? It tasted good as well. Then I went for a walk to Gion area where all geiko (geisha in Kyoto dialect) live. I hope all my readers know Gion and if not  you just watch or read Memoirs of the Geisha to see where I stroll around from time to time. I tried to find Gion Kaburenjo (the most famous geisha theater) when suddenly she appeared…

 a young apprentice geisha called maiko. I was so stunned that I didn’t know what to say. You can rarely meet them in the streets. They are somehow endangered species which are also quite timid.  I moved towards her and bowed. She smiled delicately. I asked in Japanese if one picture was ok. She didn’t answered but made a pose then smiled again and waited till I finished. After that she moved away with grace. She looked back couple of times at me. I don’t know but I felt a sort of connection between me and her. It’s difficult to describe… but definitely I would pay for her company. Astonished by the young maiko I went to the Kyoto information center where I told the staff what I saw. They were amazed and said that’s really unexpected even for the Japanese. But that’s not the end of Geisha experience that day. The guy from the information center also told me that in half an hour there would be a short geisha performance in the local museum (free of charge) so I should hurry up. This time I saw two real geishas dancing for me (and other 10 people as not many people came) I was kneeling half meter from them. I no better view could I have.

 Also other unexpected things happened that day…I met a couple of really great people and went to the public bath… but I would tell you later the details… all in all I didn’t miss my hiking tour at all and I must say that the last Sunday changed a lot my view on Japan.

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