The Geisha Experience
The Geisha Experience with Japan Awaits is a dinner event for a small group of about 6 – 10 people that is most representative of what a traditional ozashiki (gatherings and parties with geisha) is like. The dinner event will feature certified geisha (also known as geiko in Tokyo) from the hanamachi (geisha district) of Asakusa, Shinbashi, Mukoujima or Omori Kaigan. The exclusive event will include entertainment with dance, music, and real conversations with geisha (English interpreters will be present) for a more enriching experience.
Availability: Thursday and Saturday evenings (other days may be available)
Location: Traditional restaurant (ryotei) in the Asakusa area of Tokyo
Price: ¥26,000 per person
- Kaiseki Dinner (multi-course traditional Japanese meal)
- Authentic geisha performance and entertainment
- English interpreter
- Free souvenirs
- Photo opportunities and more
- Transportation to/from attractions
- Gratuities (optional)
- Hotel pickup and drop-off
6:00 PM – Greetings
After arriving at ryotei, you’ll be greeted by your English guide and host. Before your food is served, you can also mingle with other guests from around the world and make new friends.
6:15 PM – Introduction to Geisha
As you indulge in the scrumptious meal, our interpreter will introduce you to the culture and history of the geisha.
6:45 PM – Geisha Performance
Traditional dances and songs will be performed by geisha.
7:10 PM – Q&A and Games
Ask questions, learn more about geisha and have some fun playing a few traditional Japanese games with them!
7:30 PM – Geisha Conversations
Have fun stirring up conversation with geisha as they pour you your drinks (converse with the help of your English interpreter).
8:00 PM – Dinner ends
After making new friends and learning about the geisha culture, take photos and say, “Sayoonara,” before you end your night!
Please wear socks for the tatami mat room. There is no other dress code at this time, but please dress respectfully.
All seats are non-smoking; there are designated areas outside for those who would like to smoke.
The dinner experience is for ages 10 and up. Unfortunately, we will not be able to accommodate any younger children (exception can be made for private events).
The dinner may need a minimum of 6 to 8 people to book. When you make a booking, you will be placed on a waiting list until more people have confirmed their booking for the same date, or you will be asked to reschedule to a different day to attend this tour. Confirmations regarding your booking will be sent at least 5 days before your activity date.
For events with less people, the company may still proceed with the event and in which only one geisha will attend.
Depending on availability (especially during peak season), there may be only one geisha attending the event. In addition, the venue may change depending on availability and group size.
What is a geisha?
The geisha dedicates her whole life to mastering the art of entertainment. She entertains guests with singing, dancing and playing musical instruments at dining events, typically at traditional Japanese establishments, such as ryoutei or ryokan. Since the Edo period, the geisha has been iconic to Japan and even to this day, the geisha world is highly mysterious and exclusive, as requesting a geisha’s services require an introduction or referral from an existing customer or venue. Japan Awaits presents a historic dining experience with traditional performances by the geisha.
What makes Japan Awaits (JA) different?
Unlike other companies, JA wants guests to experience the most authentic Japanese experiences. Geisha are known for their acuity and wisdom-training from a young age to be able to carry any type of conversation; traditionally, geisha were known for having a vital voice in politics as many political meetings involved the accompaniment of geisha and they had the ability to intellectually hold debates, influencing laws and policies in Japan. Thus, JA want our guests to experience what it truly means to be in the presence of a geisha, through dance, song and conversation.
What is the difference between geisha (geiko) and hangyoku (maiko)?
Hangyoku (or also known as maiko in Kyoto) are apprentice geisha (also known as geiko in Kyoto) who are still in training. While having hangyoku/ maiko instead of geisha performances or appearances may significantly reduce the event cost, maiko generally are still training while geisha have been practicing for several years. Especially in recent years, less and less maiko complete training to become a full-fledged geisha, meaning that they could practice for less than a couple of years before leaving the geisha world. For our event, geisha may introduce their successor, or practicing maiko/ hangyoku, during the event but always with her oneesan (older sister) that is a professional geisha.
How else can I book geisha?
The Geisha Experience is a group dinner for about 6 – 10 guests. For a private gathering to see geisha, visit Private Events.