11 Best Geisha Tours In Kyoto, Japan - Updated 2024

Contributing Writer
| 5 min read

Famous for its Buddhist temples, Kyoto is a city in Japan located on Honshu island and was formally Japan’s capital city. It is home to the Shinto shrine which has framed gates, the golden colored Kinkaku-ji temple, the historic Kiyomizi temple blessed with captivating views, and the Arashiyama bamboo forest that is home to various monkey species. Almost all temples in this majestic city feature mesmerizing views that will always make your heart skip a beat. Wondering where to stay in Kyoto when you visit? No need to worry as this city offers plenty of accommodations, ranging from vacation rentals to family-friendly hotels.

Kyoto is also one of the best places to visit to learn more about Japanese culture. Take a look at the best geisha tours in Kyoto, Japan.

1. Food tour and kaiseki dinner in Odawara (from USD 186.0)

1) Food tour of Odawara Castle Town

Delve into Japan’s rich heritage with a tour that explores samurai and ninja history at Odawara Castle. Begin your journey at Odawara station and enjoy local delicacies such as kamaboko (fish cake) and umeboshi (pickled plum). Dress as a samurai for a photo and delve into the fascinating past at the castle.

Later, a taxi will transport you to a 260-year-old restaurant for a traditional kaiseki meal while watching a geisha performance. You can also engage in games and conversations with them after the performance.

2) Indulge in traditional dinner with geisha

If you’re on a tight schedule, indulge in savoring just the delectable kaiseki dinner in the company of a geisha, a skilled traditional Japanese entertainer, on this byFood experience. Your evening promises captivating geisha performances, encompassing music, dance, and cultural insights, making it a truly unique experience. Delight in Chef Fumio Sawase’s carefully curated kaiseki menu customized for your group in a historic, 260-year-old restaurant.

As you dine, the geisha will regale you with their talents, and afterward, you’ll have the chance to engage in games and gain deeper insights into their world.

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Odawara Castle Town Food Tour and Geisha Kaiseki Dinner

Duration: 5hours

1 review

Traditional Kaiseki Dinner with Geisha in Odawara

Duration: 2.5hours

1 review

2. Private dinner with entertainment in Kyoto (from USD 376.0)

Spare three hours of your time being entertained as you enjoy a dinner with a geisha in Kyoto. You will be given four options to choose from which include a half Kaiseki course, a full Kaiseki course, a two-hour casual dinner, or a Kaiseki ryouri multi-course dinner. This whole experience will give you the chance to learn more about Japanese culture and traditions and at the same time get entertained by the one-of-a-kind dancing performance.

byFood experience

1) Dinner with a maiko, an apprentice geisha

Immerse yourself in Kyoto’s rich culture with this 75-minute dinner affair, an exclusive byFood experience that offers a glimpse into the charming world of geisha culture.

Begin your evening with an authentic Kyoto-style kaiseki dinner, showcasing seasonal ingredients from a renowned local restaurant. While you savor the cuisine, be enchanted by the traditional dance performances of a maiko, an apprentice geisha. These versatile entertainers go beyond dance, engaging you in entertaining games and a dialogue exchange to unravel the mysteries of geisha culture.

Capture the moment with commemorative photos alongside the maiko, and feel the allure of Kyoto’s traditions come to life.

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Private Dinner with a Geisha

Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes

49 reviews

Dinner with a Maiko in Kyoto

Duration: 1.5hours

3. Night walk in Kyoto's geisha district (from USD 12.0)

geisha tours in kyoto | night walk in kyoto's geisha district

Embark on an unforgettable adventure through Gion in this geisha walking tour in Kyoto. Join a knowledgeable local guide for an immersive 100-minute nighttime stroll, delving into the fascinating history and captivating lives of geisha. Learn about their intricate kimono attire, elegant hairstyles, and the intricacies of their daily routines. Marvel at the picturesque Shirakawa River and keep an eye out for the enchanting sight of a geisha passing by.

With its popularity drawing around 5,000 visitors annually, this walking tour is a must-do for anyone seeking to uncover the captivating world of geisha in Kyoto.

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Night Walk in Gion: Kyoto's Geisha District

Duration: 100.0 minute

1681 reviews

4. Nishiki Market and Gion cultural walking food tour (from USD 92.33)

geisha tours in kyoto | nishiki market and gion cultural walking food tour

Embark on an enchanting three-hour culinary adventure through Kyoto’s iconic Nishiki Market and the captivating Gion District. Begin your journey at Nishiki Market, known as “Kyoto’s Kitchen,” where you’ll delight in a wide array of regional delicacies. Immerse yourself in the market’s rich history as you savor delectable treats such as tofu skin, sesame crackers, Japanese pike conger eel, and sake.

Continue your exploration along the vibrant Pontocho Street, absorbing the essence of modern Japanese culture. Cross the majestic Kamo River, savor local sweets, and discover the allure of Gion’s mystical geisha district.

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Kyoto: Nishiki Market Food and Culture Walking Tour

Duration: 3.0 hour

49 reviews

5. Learn about Shintoism, Buddhism and geisha culture : Kyoto Kitano walking tour

Enjoy a two-hour geisha experience in Kyoto as you get to see and explore some of the popular places within the city. You will get to learn and know more about Buddhism, the geisha culture and Shintoism. You will get to visit famous temples such as the Ryoan-Ji and the Kinkaku-Ji temples. Other places that you will get to tour are the Senbon Shakado temple, the Kitano Tenmangu Shrine, and the Kamishichiken Geisha district. This fantastic tour will begin at the Kitano Tenmangu shrine main Tori gate and ends at the Senbon Shakado temple.

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Learn about Shintoism, Buddhism and Geisha culture : Kyoto Kitano Walking Tour

Duration: 2 hours

3 reviews

6. Kyoto lanes and lanterns small group walking tour (from USD 63.06)

geisha tours in kyoto | kyoto lanes and lanterns small group walking tour

Prepare yourself for a mind-blowing three-and-a-half-hour magical experience as Kyoto transforms into a mesmerizing city after dark. Get enchanted by the colorful paper lanterns that light up the street, bringing out the other side of this majestic city. If you thought you have seen it all then you are completely mistaken. Visit the Minamiza Theater in the district of Gion where you cannot miss to see one or two maiko and geiko smiling and walking by.

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Kyoto: Lanes and Lanterns Night Time Discovery Tour

Duration: 3.5 hour

33 reviews

7. Scenic Kyoto private photo shoot with an authentic Maiko (from USD 1062.0)

scenic kyoto private photo shoot with an authentic maiko
Source: www.viator.com

Enjoy an amazing experience of a two-hour private photo shoot session in a captivating and scenic location in Kyoto. This exciting experience often starts at 3:00 pm in the afternoon and ends at 5:00 pm in the evening. Enjoy taking photos together with Maiko in beautiful gardens, traditional buildings, and temples that are open to the public. Pick up and drop off are preferably done from your hotel unless other arrangements are made.

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Scenic Kyoto Private Photo Shoot with an Authentic Maiko

8. Maiko (geisha) performance (from USD 47.0)

maiko (geisha) performance
Source: www.viator.com

Sit down, relax and prepare to be blown away with the stunning performance by a geisha as she majestically dances her way on the stage. Geishas are young ladies aged between 15 to 20 years who train for five years with the sole purpose of becoming a geiko. The time and dedication taken by these beautiful ladies to become the perfect Japanese entertainers are so intense and impressive that only a handful can complete the training. As much as both maiko and geiko entertain guests, the main difference between a maiko and a geiko is the fact that a geiko wears a plain kimono with shorter sleeves while maiko wears kimonos that are colorful and have long sleeves.

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MAIKO (Geisha) Performance

9. Make your own geisha hair ornament in Kyoto (from USD 84.0)

make your own geisha hair ornament in kyoto
Source: www.viator.com

Geisha hair ornaments are one of the most popular souvenirs for many local and international tourists. The best way to go about acquiring one is to learn how to make one where you get to customize it according to how you want it to look like. This whole process is always filled with fun and you can showcase your skills and turn any piece of cloth into a stunning art to be admired by many. There are samples you can get ideas from and at the same time an instructor will be available to help, whenever you feel like you are not sure of what you are doing.

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Make Your Own Geisha Hair Ornament in Kyoto

10. Enchanted time with Maiko (from USD 185.0)

Enjoy your dinner with Makio and get a taste of Japanese culture in a Japanese restaurant. This whole exciting experience starts off with a beautiful dance performance that will keep your eyes glued at Maiko as she dances majestically. Then you will get to play a traditional Japanese game called Ozashiki thereafter you will enjoy a short conversation with Makio before having a memorable photo shoot with her. The menu consists of Japanese-style beef steak, rice, noodles, tempura which is basically eggplant, pumpkin, small shrimp, and green chili.

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Enchanted Time with Maiko: Main Tour

Duration: 2 hours

21 reviews

11. Maiko makeover experience in Kyoto (from USD 186.0)

Enjoy an exciting two-hour experience as Maiko gives you an amazing makeover. Get transformed into a handsome samurai or a beautiful Maiko and get your picture taken in the tatami room. The ladies will be dressed in a beautiful kimono and then will apply makeup to finish off the whole dress up process. Men will have a chance to select the kimono of their choice and turn into an honorable samurai ready to begin their day filled with exciting activities. There will be an experienced photographer on site ready to take a gorgeous photo of you with Maiko under a red traditional umbrella.

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Maiko Makeover Experience in Kyoto : Couple plan

Duration: 2 hours

2 reviews

The perfect way to learn about Japanese culture

Clearly, from the moment you start your tour, you will be integrated into Japanese society and get to dress up as one of them. You will get the chance to learn, taste the local cuisine and maybe even see a few geisha houses in Kyoto. Be entertained by ladies who have dedicated most of their lives to perfecting a dance that cannot be found anywhere else.

Frequently asked questions about best geisha tours in Kyoto, Japan

  • What are the best places to visit in Kyoto?

    Kyoto, Japan is renowned for its rich history, cultural heritage, and stunning landmarks. One of the best places to visit in Kyoto is Gion District, known for its tea houses, traditional wooden machiya houses, and the possibility of encountering geisha.

  • What is the average price for geisha tours in Kyoto?

    The average price for geisha tours in Kyoto can vary. Geisha tours often offer unique insights into the traditional culture and activities of geisha, including visits to geisha districts, tea ceremonies, and performances. Prices can range from 50 USD to 200 USD or more per person, depending on the level of exclusivity and the depth of the experience provided.

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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A seasoned travel journalist, Thomson Joe is a free spirit with a fiery need for discovery and exploration of new attractions, culture, and heritage. With a passion for travel writing that can be...Read more

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