geisha

Kyoto hotel’s Maiko-han Bar event lets travelers drink with geisha at amazingly affordable prices

Foreign guests welcome at lobby lounge function that sidesteps the cost and pretense of orthodox geisha services.
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Japanese Tumblr user drops hammer on debate of if Caucasian girl’s Japan-themed party was racist

“The only people who think culture shouldn’t be shared are racists like you.”

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Mythbuster’s Adam Savage explores Ghost in the Shell’s coolest practical effects【Video】

The Hollywood Ghost in the Shell turned to master prop makers from Weta Workshop to achieve their detailed practical looks.

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Japanese Twitter seems to have no problems with Karlie Kloss’ “geisha” photo shoot

With the controversy over the model’s Vogue photos ongoing, has anyone bothered to check on how Japan feels?

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Mars Japan releases first-ever Japanese-themed M&Ms with princess and samurai characters

The all-new Japanese-exclusive packages include limited-edition coloured chocolates that capture the spirit of Japan.

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10 things you didn’t know about geisha

We’ve talked before about geisha as one of Japan’s distinctly female professions, so this time we’re going to share with you a few fun facts about the geisha and their floating world.

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Adidas collaborates with singer Rita Ora to create geisha-inspired collection

The range even includes a couple of sporty kimono.

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Kabuki and geisha cats appear as cute purses based on famous Japanese ukiyo-e woodblock prints

Edo-period artwork gets the cute cat treatment in Japan.

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New Pokémon Center to open in Kyoto with exclusive goods featuring adorable Maiko Pikachu

In Kyoto, Pikachu wears a kimono with a Ho-Oh design and a Vivillion-adorned hair accessory.

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Our male reporter transforms into a beautiful Japanese courtesan at Tokyo photo studio

If you want to become a geisha, maiko, samurai or courtesan, gender is no barrier at this Asakusa photo studio.

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Hardcore dancing geisha show the world how to be elegant and badass at the same time【Video】

Sophistication and sass are not mutually exclusive.

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Asakusa photo studio transforms visitors into courtesans, geisha and samurai

If you’ve ever wanted to turn back time and step into the clothes of a well-dressed geisha, a pipe-smoking courtesan or a sword-wielding samurai warrior, we’ve found the perfect place for you!

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The quintessential Kyoto experience: becoming a maiko for the day! 【Pics & video】

They say that it’s rare to see a real maiko walking the streets of Kyoto, since these artists usually work at night and live in their own secluded world, far from the rest of Japanese society. In fact, if you spot a maiko strolling around Gion during the day, there’s a good chance she’s a tourist who’s undergone a fabulously elaborate makeover.

We took our Japan Wish competition winner Ashley to a studio in Kyoto’s Gion neighborhood to have a maiko-over and be transformed in an amazing process that yielded completely stunning results. Ashley was able to choose her own kimono and obi sash, and as part of the deal she was treated to a professional photography session and the opportunity to take a stroll around the streets of Gion in full maiko garb!

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Maiko beauty secrets: Skincare tips from Japan’s apprentice geisha

Just as with full-fledged geisha, it’s customary for maiko, as geisha apprentices are known, to wear a layer of white face powder, called oshiroi. But those who’ve seen one of Japan’s traditional entertainers close up often marvel at their smooth, healthy skin, remarking that they would be just as beautiful with all of those cosmetic coverings washed away.

But in much the same way that their polished speech and refined mannerisms are the result of years of training, maiko also have a careful routine they follow to keep their skin looking as delicate and pleasing to the eye as it does.

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Japan Bucket List — 8 things you need to do to really understand Japan

Your first trip to Japan is bound to be a whirlwind visit as you try to pack so many things into a short period of time. Do go to Tokyo and see the white-gloved train pushers, the famous Shibuya scramble crossing, and many of the scenes depicted in anime and manga. Do go to Kyoto and see the shrines and temples that are simply amazing.

But as a country that has so much to offer, it can take years to really get to know and understand Japan, even when you live here. So if you want to take your understanding of Japan a step further, we’re here to suggest a few things you’ll want to experience in order to better understand Japanese culture: things that give you insight on what’s behind the Japanese way of thinking.

These experiences will help you understand who the Japanese people are, and why they act the way they do. Get ready to move from tourist to cultural expert after the jump!

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Nine things that may shatter your dreams of living in Kyoto

Kyoto now welcomes 50 million tourists a year who come to experience Japan’s traditional culture and architecture, plus catch a glimpse of the city’s famed geisha. But, as anyone who lives in a tourist hot spot knows, living there is not the same as a short visit.

As such, the following is a list of some of the things that Kyoto locals probably have the urge to remind tourists of from time to time, so allow us to shatter your illusions with some of the realities that come with living in Japan’s ancient capital.

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Narita Airport attempts to woo international travellers with ‘Omotenashi’ welcome program

‘Omotenashi’, the spirit of Japanese hospitality, became something of a buzzword at home and abroad when Christel Takigawa used the phrase in her speech to the International Olympic Committee in 2013.

And it’s in this spirit that Tokyo’s Narita airport plans to extend an especially warm welcome to international visitors this year, as it renews its Omotenashi Program of special offers and cultural events for transferring passengers.

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Photos from 140 years ago show Tokyo’s skyline was amazing long before the Skytree was ever built

In 1853, the rulers of Japan ended the country’s more than two centuries of isolation from the rest of the world. But while foreigners could now get into Japan for trade and commerce, it would take more than 10 years until Japanese citizens could leave the country, meaning that outside cultural influences were still slow to find their way into the half-opened nation.

As such, there’s a brief, time capsule-like period in which Japan’s culture was still almost entirely of indigenous origins, but foreign visitors had the technology to visually document it, as shown in these beautiful photographs of 19th century Japan.

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Can’t spend a whole month at Kyoto’s Gion Festival? This beautiful video gives the highlights

Many neighborhoods in Japan have festivals during the summer, often centered around the local shrine. They generally include processions, musical performances, and Shinto rituals, with the festivities lasting a day, or maybe two if they stretch throughout the weekend.

Kyoto’s Gion district, though, does things on a grander scale. The Gion Matsuri (Gion Festival) starts on July 1 and runs for the entire month, with some sort of event happening almost every day. And while most non-residents can’t clear out enough of their schedule to sped a few solid weeks in Japan’s former capital, this beautiful video gives the highlights of the event.

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Anti-UK World War II era photograph featuring grimacing geisha uncovered

If you were paying attention during history class, you’ll know all about wartime propaganda and the role it played in “motivating” people during the war effort. It seems like most countries involved got in on a piece of the propaganda action to some degree or other, with anti-Japanese propaganda being just one example.

But what do you think of this picture that has recently been uncovered showing two geisha holding their noses over a picture of former UK prime minister Winston Churchill? And what’s the joke behind it?

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