On the second last day of our tour, we enjoyed our main tour highlight – a private dinner with a Kyoto geisha (芸者). Geisha are traditional Japanese female entertainers skilled in various arts such as classical music, dance, games, and conversation. Apprentice geisha are called maiko (舞子), while fully trained geisha are called geiko (芸子).
Thanks to our special guide and interpreter in Kyoto, we were able to have geiko Toshikana from the Miyagawacho geisha district join us for dinner. Toshikana is a very photogenic geisha and has had a lot of experience working with photographers. She has also represented the geisha world overseas and has been featured on many posters and book covers.
We enjoyed our exquisite kaiseki (懐石) dinner and conversation with Toshikana before having a photo session, where she made our work easy with her professionalism and experience. We finished off the night playing a traditional drinking game against Toshikana, and were each, in turn, thoroughly beaten by her.
Our private geisha dinner was truly unforgettable experience for all of us!