Maiko are trainee Geisha (Geiko in Kyoto dialect) who train for six years before becoming fully fledged Geisha. They learn skills such as dance, singing, instrument playing as well as how to entertain guests with conversation.
Traditional Kyoto Cuisine Walking Tour
Traditional Kyoto Cuisine Walking Tour, Japan
Begin your day by taking in the mile long Nishiki Market. Easily Kyoto's most fascinating food market the variety of produce on show here is simply staggering. Known as "Kyoto's Kitchen", the market has a several centuries of history, and many stores have been operated by the same families for generations. Selling everything from Japanese pickles to the finest Japanese cutlery almost everything you'll find here is locally produced and procured. With cries of irasshaimase (welcome!) coming from the shop owners, the scent of roasted tea and chestnuts and the smell of freshly grilled unagi (eel) and yakitori (chicken skewers) pervading the market, the walk should prove to be a truly pleasant attack on the senses!
Having strolled through the market and helped your guide pick up produce for your cookery lesson, you'll then head through the back streets and lanes of Kyoto to the Horino Sake Museum to learn all about sake production and of course sample some of its wares. Drunk either hot or cold, sake is produced by fermenting rice with water and yeast and is one of Japan's most popular drinks.
Leaving the museum behind you make your way to a traditional machiya (tea house) for your Japanese cooking class where you prepare and make your own lunch including rolled sushi, miso soup and a warm salad. Having enjoyed the fruits of your labour your guide will assist you in returning you to your hotel.
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Other experiences in Kyoto
These activities are designed to give you the most authentic experiences around where you're staying. We work with local guides, who use their knowledge and often a resident's eye to show you the main sights and more out-of-the-way attractions. Our specialists can suggest tours and activities, such as cooking classes, that will introduce you to the local ways of life.
Explore around the Gion district and other parts of Kyoto to help shed some light on the exclusive and mysterious world of the Geisha and other aspects of Japanese culture.
Take the opportunity to learn more about a traditional Japanese pastime of your choice. These courses are instigated and run by the Women's Association of Kyoto and you will visit the home of one of the members.
Like nearby Kyoto, Nara was once the Japanese capital and a source of enormous cultural and religious outpourings. Unlike its more celebrated neighbour, however, Nara has survived relatively untouched by modern advances and remains a relaxed town dotted with temples, shrines and parkland.