How to Catch a Geisha in Gion

  We were winding up our second day in Kyoto when we got off Raku Bus No. 100 at Gion, where Yasaka Shrine is.  It is famous for the annual Gion Matsuri Festival.



The signature orange-colored shrine of Kyoto


My wife with the thousand paper lanterns


  After touring the Tasaka Shrine (it must have more than a thousand paper lanterns bearing the names the different sponsors like Hitachi, Toyota, etc), we wandered off looking for a good place to have dinner.  We ended up in one of the side streets where we saw several people milling around with their cameras ready.  This is one of the cobbled lanes in the Gion district lined up with tea houses.



Paparazzi in Gion?


  We joined the crowds not knowing what to expect, when all of a sudden, a geisha appeared from nowhere and made a sprint out to the main street and quickly disappeared into one of the streetside tea houses. 



A beautiful geisha in blue


She was gone as fast as she appeared


  So this is how a paparazzi works … stalking and waiting and then stalking and waiting some more. So we decided to wait again and catch another geisha.  But the waiting game took it’s toll. We were hungry! And when we were about to leave the place, lo and behold, another geisha appeared!



Our second giesha sighting for the day


  Geishas are not that common in Japan anymore, unlike the time before the World War II.  That war brought a decline in geisha arts because most of the women  had to go to the factories to work (since most of the men were at war front).



Kimono-clad young japanese women


  On our bus ride home back to our hotel (how we love the public transport system of Kyoto!), we chanced upon a group of young japanese women in their traditional kinomo.  How common is that? It’s just like riding a public bus in EDSA and you get to see filipina in terno dresses!  So we really feel lucky today. We hope our luck continues in the next few days more.



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