I expect that hearing the word "Kyoto" makes a lot of people think of Maiko-san. But there are probably hardly any people who have had the chance to see Maiko-san close up, much less talk to one. Often, you’ll think you saw a Maiko-san walking somewhere, but it was just a tourist in disguise. Even if you live in Japan, such opportunities are rare.
It might be a bit disappointing to hear that, but don’t feel discouraged. There actually are opportunities for regular people to come in contact with Maiko-san!
This is the Jingu Michi shopping street. It is on a street that extends straight ahead of the giant torii gate near Heian-jingu shrine. Under the sponsorship of this shopping street, they hold an event once a month called "Maiko day", conducting various programs while alternating ideas each month.
On this day, we visited the August "Maiko day".
This time they held an event called "Maiko-san and the Summer Festival", designed to look like a festival with food carts, a raffle, and the like.
And the crucially important Maiko-san...
Of course, the Maiko-san come too, and they’re the real thing!
This time, the event was arranged so that you could take photos with the Maiko-san.
When you buy something at a food cart or other such place, you get to have one of these stickers...
So if you show it to a person in charge, you get to take a photo!
And this is when you get your photo taken with a Maiko.
This will be a nice memory. It really made the trip to Kyoto worthwhile. I can boast about it when I go back home.
The event is held once a month, so you should go there if the timing works out right for you. You can check on the event dates at the website. The website is in Japanese, but you should be able to understand if you search for "舞妓の日"(Maiko day).