The press bus was filled with anticipation – we were going to see Geisha‘s tonight!
“No, no, no. In Kyoto we do not call them Geisha. They are Geiko.”
We all looked at each other slightly confused as to why until our guide Mei continued her story, “Geisha in Kyoto call themselves ‘Geiko’ to distinguish that they are a higher quality performer than their other Japanese counterparts. So we have Geiko and Maiko, which are training to be Geiko.”
Spending the night at Gion Hatanaka we took our first step into understanding the world of Maiko and Geiko culture. The two trainee Maiko danced, taught us traditional drinking games, and answered many of our groups burning questions about the Maiko lifestyle and their training.