Maiko Experience with Traditional Kaiseki Dinner at Gion Hatanaka in Kyoto

Great for foreigners interested in Geiko and Maiko!

Reviewed by: Michael, 2017/08/14

I was traveling to Japan alone, but my parents were going to visit for a couple days. I have studied and read about Maiko and Geiko, and since my parents saw my interested they wanted to attend some kind of dinner. I was a bit nervous to find one for them, because I know Japanese but they do not. The translator was AMAZING and so helpful. I have no idea how she was able to remember everything and translate for everyone while talking to guests.

The whole experience is very much set for newcomers, so you don't have to read intensively before coming, they do explain a lot about what they wear, and preform. When we were there, there was one Geiko and one Maiko. They both greeted every group individually and allowed for small chat. Many photo ops and a good way to get them instead of waiting around Gion. I really highly recommend for anyone interested in the truth about Geisha and their art.

The Geiko and Maiko we saw were from Miyagawacho if anyone was curious.


  • Geiko Kofuku


  • Maiko Koen


  • Geiko Kofuku

Rating:
Attended as:Families
Activity Date:2017/07/19
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Incredible!

Reviewed by: Laura, 2017/07/30

A fantastic experience, food and drink was beautiful but the main highlight was the entertainment by Maiko and Geiko and the opportunity to speak with them -absolutely priceless, highly recommend it, this will stay with me forever.


Rating:
Attended as:Solo Travelers
Activity Date:2017/07/28
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Awesome experience!

Reviewed by: Jess, 2017/07/23

I've studied geiko and maiko so this is a dream come true for me. We were not only able to see the performance but to talk to the ladies and interact with them in games. Approach the food with an open mind; great for foodies but the couple next to me wasn't enjoying the food. Google kaiseki before committing.


Rating:
Attended as:Solo Travelers
Activity Date:2017/07/01
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Great overall experience in Kyoto

Reviewed by: Chris, 2017/07/04

Good food - ok, my partner found it strange and weird, it was her first trip though and she was still used to the usual sushi-and-tempura staples, so it is all good ;) - all you can drink menu was great, and the best part, were the Maiko perfomances and games.

A note for couples/solo travelers, is that tables accommodate four people each, and chances are that you will be seating with other people. We sat together with a fun American couple, and had a lot of fun talking, and interacting together in the Maiko games, so that actually enhanced our experience.

Rating:
Attended as:Couples
Activity Date:2017/05/15
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Highlight of our Japan trip.

Reviewed by: John, 2017/07/01

Everyone in our family enjoyed this experience as the highlight of our Japan trip. We highly recommend it to anyone. Families had their kids there (7 and above) and you could see the kids were really enjoying it too. If you can book this dinner do it.

We ended up with two Geiko, the full-fledged Geisha, so that was great. You sit at low tables with chairs. A couple of members of our family really enjoyed the unlimited drinks. The English translator did a great job translating the experience. One of the Geiko spoke pretty fair English so we had a nice conversation with her at our table and the other Geiko who came to our table had the translator along to facilitate our individual questions. The Geisha are very controlled during their performance so I was pleasantly surprised that when we had a chance to talk with them individually at our table they were so friendly and open in their conversations and actions when not performing. There were a couple of different drinking games that everyone found great fun, especially when you get a video of someone in your party. Everyone had a chance to participate. Even some kids participated in the drinking games (drinking tea or something non-alcoholic). There was a lot of laughing going on during the drinking games. The dinner itself is mostly seafood based so if you do not like seafood it would be good to get something to eat ahead of time. Gion Hatanaka where the dinner took place was a perfect venue. It had a very authentic Japanese feel to it. You probably will take a cab there and they can call a cab for you when you are ready to leave.

I booked this a couple of months in advance fearing that it might run out of space and it was pending confirmation of enough other guests for the experience to operate that night. I got a final confirmation about two weeks before our date that the experience was confirmed and we were good to go.

Rating:
Attended as:Families
Activity Date:2017/06/05
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Nice and well organized

Reviewed by: Olivier, 2017/06/24

Nice moment reserved of course for tourists but there are not 1000 ways to experience this. I thought the food would be of higher standard but it was also good. Thanks!

Rating:
Attended as:Solo Travelers
Activity Date:2017/05/31
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Awesome!!!!

Reviewed by: Alana and Claire, 2017/06/23

It was such an amazing experience, and the crowd-interaction portions were both fun and informative! The food was delicious and exciting and the service was very fast and polite. Talking with the meiko was such a unique and amazing opprotunity! We really enjoyed our evening.

Rating:
Attended as:Families
Activity Date:2017/06/21
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Maiko + Kaiseki Dinner

Reviewed by: QAH, 2017/06/21

4.5 An amazing experience to meet a maiko and geiko! The food was superb, with convincingly fresh ingredients and a great selection. The entertainment was fantastic, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to interact with geiko/maiko. The only thing I wish were better was that I my group felt rushed at times. We didn't get very much time to talk with the maiko/geiko, and the host rushed us at the end to leave when we wanted to just finish our drinks.

Rating:
Attended as:Friends
Activity Date:2017/06/10
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Great show/experience so fun! Weird food.

Reviewed by: EEE, 2017/06/11

Appetizer dish was a lot of strange foods. Don't go for the food. 2 maiko and 1 geiko were there! Games were really fun! Recommend. Unique experience.


Rating:
Attended as:Couples
Activity Date:2017/06/05
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Ok

Reviewed by: Steph, 2017/06/05

Entertaining, but a little too expensive for what you got. I didn't enjoy the food as much as the other places I ate in Japan.

Rating:
Attended as:Solo Travelers
Activity Date:2017/05/13
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Great fun, no kids for the main show

Reviewed by: shaneullman, 2017/06/02

This was a really great experience and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The food was amazing, the venue is pristine and beautiful, and the performance was very culturally enlightening. The music may not be to some people's taste, but it is great to see a traditional art form. Also, the question time with the Maiko/Geisha (right at our table) and the drinking games are a lot of fun that I think anybody can enjoy.

Just be mindful that they have a policy for children under 7. You aren't supposed to bring any children under 7, so if you accidentally show up with one (like us), you will need to take them out of the room for the main show. This is understandable as the children will probably disrupt it. But if you have enough adults to juggle your baby outside the room, hopefully you can still enjoy it.

Rating:
Attended as:Families with Young Children
Activity Date:2017/05/29
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Superb food and great culture

Reviewed by: Drew T., 2017/05/01

We thoroughly enjoyed our evening being entertained and educated regarding all things Maiko. The whole experience was a night not to be forgotten. The food was the highest quality.

Rating:
Attended as:Couples
Activity Date:2017/04/07
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Fabulous

Reviewed by: Lorna from London, 2017/04/14

What a privilege it was to meet an authentic Maiko and see her dance accompanied on the shamisen by a Geiko and then meet her and speak to her about her life which is about as far from the ordinary 17 year old's as you can get !!! The "waitresses" are lovely and so attentive . Food is a bit of a challenge for some western tastes but the whole evening is an unmissable experience . Highly recommended .

Rating:
Attended as:Families
Activity Date:2017/04/08
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Great experience

Reviewed by: DCL, 2016/12/31

We really enjoyed our experience at Gion Hatanaka. .The dinner was great and the maiko/geiko we met were very poised and kind.

Rating:
Attended as:Couples
Activity Date:2016/12/09
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Amazing one-of-a-kind experience

Reviewed by: willie r., 2016/06/06

Went to Kyoto with a friend and we wanted something authentic. This fit the bill perfectly. The Maiko performed well, and look flawless, as expected. The staff was super helpful, and as usual the language difference was not an issue.

Pros: The food is delicious, open bar, the ambiance, the drinking games, the information/history presentation.

Cons: food is pre-set, shoes are removed so wear socks, the room was quite warm by the end of the night.

Rating:
Attended as:Friends
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Absolutely wonderful!!

Reviewed by: Erika, 2016/05/11

Show was great!! Dinner was very good, especially since my husband and I are not big fish eaters. They are not stingy with the drinks either. The two maikos performance was beautiful along with their costumes and make-up. The interactive games afterwards had the whole room laughing. A bit pricey but highly recommend. Great experience since there are so few geisha left practicing.

Rating:
Attended as:Couples
Activity Date:2016/05/09
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Maiko Experience

Reviewed by: Hank, 2016/04/30

Absolutely fantastic experience. First time to see Japan, & the Geisha was one of the top of the list. The catering staff were professional & very friendly. The Maiko themselves carried out a great performance. There was time for photos & interactive conversation. They also played some Geisha games with the dinner group. All in all, highly recommended, especially if you have never seen Geisha perform in real life.

Rating:
Attended as:Solo Travelers
Activity Date:2016/04/08
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Highlight of our Kyoto experience

Reviewed by: YK Han, 2016/04/23

The Maiko Experience gave us an interesting and unforgettable insight into the lives of Maiko-san and Geiko-san, which otherwise would be inaccessible for non-Japanese. Fun games and photo session were also included, which gave us an overall unforgettable evening.

Rating:
Attended as:Couples
Activity Date:2016/03/30
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Wonderful Experiwnce

Reviewed by: Ruth, 2016/04/17

Travelled solo and felt welcome. Assigned with a family of three and enjoyed their company. Worth the price in completing a trip in Gion. Food was your traditional Japanese Kyoto cuisine. For first timers an adventure! Will do it again.

Rating:
Attended as:Solo Travelers
Activity Date:2016/04/15
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Chance of a Lifetime!

Reviewed by: Andrea Withers, 2016/04/03

It is difficult if not impossible to see a real Geisha in Japan without booking a special tour such as this. I was on a group tour that didn't include a Geisha evening, and all the people on the tour stood for an hour on a street corner in Gion, hoping to see a Geisha, but to no avail. They were certainly jealous to hear that I'd booked a separate tour to ensure connecting with this special part of Japanese culture. And it was SO worth it to enjoy the endless courses of Japanese specialty food and overflowing drinks, as well as the beautiful dances and songs of the Maiko and Geisha, not to mention the fun drinking games and the table-side chats we had. The two ladies came to each table (four at a table) and talked with us, answering any questions we had (via a translator) and taking photos with us. I have precious memories on video from this very special evening. Highly recommend it!


Rating:
Attended as:Solo Travelers
Activity Date:2016/03/25
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Fabulous evening!

Reviewed by: Carl, 2016/03/19

Lovely venue, great food and drink, and excellent entertainment. Would highly recommend.

Rating:
Attended as:Couples
Activity Date:2016/03/09
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Excellent evening

Reviewed by: Burgesswaz, 2015/11/04

We enjoyed a wonderful evening! Each course of the banquet was beautifully presented and each course enjoyable. The experience with the geisha was informative, the dance excellent and the games entertaining. Speaking with the maiko was just wonderful given our interest in this part of the culture. There are just the right amount of guests enough for atmosphere.

Rating:
Attended as:Couples
Activity Date:2015/10/28
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nice experience

Reviewed by: Eva, 2015/08/02

As a surprise for my mother I booked the geisha experience. It was a nice evening and seeing the geiko and maiko perform was quite nice. Interacting with them was quite difficult, especially since the interpretor was answering the questions instead of interpreting. Although it must be a routine evening for both the interpretor and the geek and make it would have been nice if he would at least translate the questions. Food was ok. A lot of fish. For me too much, a mixture of at least tofu and fish would have been nice. Or meat and fish. All in all a very nice evening.

Rating:
Attended as:Families
Activity Date:2015/07/10
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Nice experience

Reviewed by: julien, 2015/05/30

Nice evening with the opportunity to meet meikos or geikos. Be sure that the ladies will make you drink to make it worth the price. The only drawback I see is that you can't choose the meals.

Rating:
Attended as:Couples
Activity Date:2015/05/08
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Amazing

Reviewed by: Irina, 2015/05/13

What a wonderful show and interaction with geisha and maiko, fun games. Kaiseki dinner is ok. Drinks are flowing. Service is impeccable. Highly recommend.

Rating:
Attended as:Couples
Activity Date:2015/05/06
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Unique Experience!

Reviewed by: DL612, 2015/05/06

Love the experience since it was so unique and had fun times for everyone there!



Rating:
Attended as:Friends
Activity Date:2015/05/01
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Wonderful evening

Reviewed by: KAB, 2015/04/23

An opportunity rarely open to Westerners and most Japanese, an evening meal (food was good, plentiful and free drinks) with entertainment from Meiko (apprentice Geiko or Geisha). There were dancing demonstrations, games and an opportunity to chat to theMeiko about their fascinating lives. I loved this evening, it was a highlight in my trip to Japan.

I confirmed with my hotel manager who is a Gion resident that these are real Meiko- beware there are some imposters around but the difference is evident. These ladies are charm and grace personified.


  • Meiko dancing

Rating:
Attended as:Couples
Activity Date:2015/04/20
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Disappointed

Reviewed by: Scott, 2015/04/04

I was disappointed by this experince. It is a very touristy western experince, and not something that is even remotely traditionally japanese. You get to meet a geisha, eat some mediocore food, and play some games that they made up for you as a tourist to play. It is nothing like a traditional experience with a geisha. I wouldnt recommend it unless you desperately want to see a geisha and this is your only option.

Rating:
Attended as:Friends
Activity Date:2015/04/01
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Strongly Recommend!

Reviewed by: Rachel , 2015/02/09

Such an amazing experience! the geishas are truly beautiful and its fantastic that you can talk with them, play drinking games and have pictures. Food was pretty darn good too :)

Rating:
Attended as:Couples
Activity Date:2015/02/06
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Food was not good

Reviewed by: MCX, 2014/11/21

I expected more services. Instead, we got one box full of stuff. It was not as beautiful and tasty as it should be. The maiko experience was nice though.

Rating:
Attended as:Solo Travelers
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