For Christmas from my sisters I got to experience dressing like a Maiko (apprentice Geisha)!
I’d always thought it was a tacky overpriced touristy thing to do, but after seeing a few friends do it I thought it actually looked really fun and I’d like to as well – for the right price!
Hannah recommended the place she went, Maica, I decided on the Okigaru plan as it was the cheapest and had everything I needed. Kimono, make up, wig, time for photos!
Reserving a spot was easy, just fill in the online form in English, I got a reply the same day conforming my reservation.
My appointment was for 1pm, but by 1 I was still on a bus halfway between Kamigamo and Maica. I’d left my keitai at home charging and only had sporadic Internet! I tried emailing them to say I was on my way but not sure they got it. I arrived half an hour late, pretty hot and bothered. I half expected them to turn me away, I apologized profusely but the lady didn’t seem to mind all!
J was led away into a separate waiting area, I was taken upstairs to put my belongings into a locker and strip off to put on a flimsy nightie.
I was taken upstairs to choose my kimono from the allocated price range rail. It was difficult to choose as they were all jam packed. I chose a red and pink one but when she pulled it out later it had blue at the top as well!
Make up was the next step, this took a good 25 mins, my face, eyebrows, eyelids, lips and back were painted. Then came dressing. Layers and towels for padding tightly tied. Finally the wig! She tried a few to get a good fit I didn’t really have a say in style but I trusted her opinion!
After 45mins I was allowed downstairs with my camera to meet J in the photo rooms. There are two spaces with many props and screens for you to go snap happy for 60mins.
The lady took a ‘proper’ photo of me for my photo gift. She took time to get it right and wasn’t happy with the first few shots as the kimono wasn’t looking perfect!
We were left alone for photo time! As you can imagine we took MANY!
Another girl came down for photos so decided to give her some privacy, so off J went to the waiting room and I went upstairs.
The lady quickly undid all the ties and released me from the kimono, removed my wig and directed me to the washroom. It’s important to bring good make up remover with you. It’s one of the few things they tell you to bring. Mine wasn’t having much effect so the lady gave me a squirt of one she had and helped me scrub my back. My face was raw when I left!
We departed to many thanks and bows with a full SD card and my small photo gift.
The whole thing took 2 hours and I had a lot of fun, I’d definitely recommend Maica to anyone wanting to do the same.