Geisha Culture: Walking Lecture
Geisha Culture and Photography Hints
Included with the Walking Lecture:
- A set of Peter MacIntosh's original postcards
- An authentic Maiko-san's name sticker (senjafuda)
- Photogaraphy hints
- Entrance into Hanagumo Private Bar (a former teahouse). Inside Hanagumo, Peter will give a brief history of geisha culture and show authentic geiko/maiko paraphernalia.
This is a walking lecture that points out many spots to take photographs and the proper etiquette when walking through the geisha districts.
Time: 4:30-6:00 PM
Price: 3,000 yen per person
Meet in front of the Minamiza Kabuki Theater (map).
MacIntosh is a professional photographer and world-leading expert
on geisha culture. His photographs of geisha have been exhibited around
the world and is the director of the 2009 documentary "Real Geisha Real Women".
Also, his photographs have been used by the Japan National Tourist
Association for their international promotion of Japan. He has also
lectured in many countries about geisha culture, and is the first
non-Japanese to take geisha abroad without
the use of a native Japanese intermediary.
In order to share his
knowledge and explain his photos to his customers, Peter will take them
on a walk through his neighbourhood (an active geisha district), while
giving them advice on how to take photographs of this world. The
walking lecture will last approximately 90 minutes and will take you
through streets lined with old wooden houses and hidden alleyways in
Kyoto’s world-renowned geisha districts as the geiko/maiko make their way to their evening’s engagements. While answering your
questions, Peter will give you an insider's view into the past, present
and future of this unique and exotic world.
You will see geisha schools, ochaya, okiya and traditional artisan’s shops. There are some great photo
opportunities, so don't forget your camera.
Price: 3,000 yen per person. Included in this fee is a
set of postcards (while supplies last), a maiko's name sticker (while
supplies last), and a
chance to ask Peter questions about photography and geisha culture. The walking lecture points out many spots to take
photographs in addition to the proper etiquette when walking through
the geisha districts.
Important: In the event of rain after 2-3 pm, the walk
will be called off and re-scheduled for the next day. In our past
experience, nobody enjoys getting wet and photo oppurtunities are
limited, so please call or send an email to re-schedule.
What to Expect When
Walking Through the Geisha Districts With Peter
You will see beautiful alleyways
and architecture, the geisha schools, ochaya (tea houses), and okiya (boarding houses). We worked with the Memoirs of a Geisha production crew during location scouting. Along the way you will see
exactly what they saw, and you will learn more in the 90 minutes about
geisha than even most Japanese people know. Peter
MacIntosh is a world renowned foreign expert on geisha. We will
tell you about the history and culture of geisha, as well as his
personal experiences about geisha in general. Please feel free to ask
many questions on the walk.
How to Reserve a Spot for
the Walking Lecture
1. Peter is available to do a
walking lecture all days except Fridays. (In the event of rain it will be held the next day but
you need to contact us to reschedule your booking).
2. Send an email
reservation with your name, number of persons, and
request date to email@example.com.
Requirements for Walking Lecture
Photos are fine. There is
some beautiful architecture and charming narrow streets along the
way. If we are lucky enough to see a maiko or geiko do not run after them or get in the way. These women are working and
probably on the way to an engagement where geisha elders or customers
They are usually fine with pictures while they are
walking by. However, if they look like they don't want their
photo taken, please don't. I know most of the women in the districts
and if they have time they will probably stop for a very quick photo.
Always remember that we are walking down streets.
Therefore bicycles and scooters and sometimes even cars will be passing.
There is a minimum of 2 people for the lecture to take
place, but no maximum. However, in busy season, such as April, there
can sometimes be over 20 people. In this case you might want to come
back another day if you feel the lecture would not be personal enough.
Q: Will I see a geisha? What's the best time of year?
A: You will almost definitly see a geisha, as they work
every day. Times you might not see one (or so many) include:
- The 2nd and 4th Sunday of every month
- New Years
- O-Bon Holiday
- Golden Week
Map of Minamiza Kabuki
Important: Even though we meet in
front of the Minamiza theater, they are not responsible for
contacting me. If there is a problem, or you are worried that
you are not in the right place, please use the pay phone to the right
of the theater near the vending machines. You will be calling my
cell phone so a 10 yen coin will not provide sufficient time to
have a conversation. 100 yen should suffice.