Wednesday, February 4, 2009

When I grow up I wanna be a maiko

I finally pulled the trigger on my Japan trip in April during cherry blossom season. The stars aligned when flight prices came down (although the Honolulu connection is now out the window), and my friend Gina signed on as my travel companion. (You might recognize her hand or elbow from some of my Heights Observer restaurant photos from my reviews since she's always a great sport about tagging along with me.)

We'll be spending a few days in Kyoto, then will take the train to the area around Mount Fugi and will end our visit with a few days in Tokyo.

Rooms have been hard to score in Kyoto since the time we're visiting is enormously popular...cherry blossoms only stay open for about a week. But, we found a ryokan in our price range, so we're good to go. I found this site really helpful for finding places to stay with traditional Japanese rooms.

Now I'm obsessed with hanging out with maikos, apprentice geisha, when we visit Gion. But, alas, I can't fulfill all 10 requirements:

1. Become an apprentice of professional female entertainer

2. Be between 15 and 17 years old (nope)

3. Be shorter than 63 inches since the okobo add another 4 inches (nope)

4. Weigh more than 95 lbs. to handle the heavy costume (definitely not an issue)

5. Have parental consent

6. Demonstrate fondness of traditional Japanese entertainment

7. Demonstrate fondness of Japanese life style (ask me after the trip)

8. Overwhelming patience (patience is not one of my virtues)

9. Be accepted by an okiya to cover monthly fees

10. Commit to a 4-5 training period

For now, I wonder if Gina will let me do something like this. She really doesn't know what she's got herself into...


  1. Two things: 1. are you going to sleep in a chest of drawers like Kramer made the Japanese businessmen do on that one Seinfeld episode? and 2. my friend has an authentic kimono from Japan and it is an awesome -- and totes comfortable -- Halloween costume. Just sayin'.

  2. 1. I have no idea what to expect.
    2. For the love of Phil, don't tempt me.
    3. Why are we using numbers instead of our usual letter outlines?

  3. Christina,

    You should talk to Heather about going to Arima (sp?) Springs outside of can dress up and walk around the town as well as enjoy their spa treatments.

  4. You should talk to Heather about Arima (sp?) Springs outside Kobe. There you can dress up in traditional attire(they have places to rent the outfits) and walk around the town, and also partake in their spa activities.