Our Japan trip was filled with many unique and beautiful experiences. One of my absolute favorite experiences during the entire trip was our incredible private dinner with a maiko hosted by Enchanted Time with Maiko.
We arrived at the restaurant, Yasaka-Dori Enraku, and were shown to our traditional tatami room where you sit on the floor.
A maiko is an apprentice geiko in Kyoto. A geiko is a Japanese female entertainer who acts as a hostess. They are highly trained practitioners of traditional Japanese arts and customs of hospitality. They possess many skills and are accomplished singers, dancers, musicians, story-tellers, and performers. They are otherwise known as geisha in Tokyo.
We enjoyed a delicious multicourse dinner menu. Unlimited drinks and alcoholic beverages were included as well. Kanpai!
Our lovely maiko, Fukune, was so sweet. With the assistance of our fabulous interpreter, Mika, we had the opportunity to ask her questions and learn about her fascinating life as a maiko. She was towards the end of her journey to becoming a geiko. Very cool!
It was amazing to watch Fukune perform and elegant dance for us.
Fukune’s outfit was gorgeous. She pointed out several details of her kimono and accessories like the obi (the sash of the kimono) that’s tied in the back. She even does her own makeup and hair.
They heard it was one of our birthdays the month before and gave us a handwritten card and a sticker of Fukune’s signature.
We had some nice conversations, watched a lovely dance, and now it was time to learn ozashiki asobi which refers to the many games you can play with the maiko or geiko.
We were shown how to play Konpira Fune Fune where you sit facing each another with a small table between the two of you. An object is placed on the table and you take turns touching it with your hand out to the rhythm of the “Konpira Fune Fune” song. If the object is taken away be somebody the other person must make a fist before touching the table. The pace gradually becomes faster and faster until somebody makes a mistake.
These are designed to be drinking games. If you make a mistake, you drink.
It wasn’t easy at first, but we got the hang out of it.
We were having so much fun! Fukune was happy to be hanging out with other females. It was a Girls Night out! 😉
My sister and I can’t thank Fukune, Mika, and the staff enough for this wonderful experience! It was truly amazing!
This was one of the best and most authentic experiences during our time in Japan. If you’re going to Kyoto, don’t miss Enchanted Time with Maiko. They offer a group dinner every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday starting at 6pm. It costs 19,000JPY per person (around $175US) and is well worth it. You can book a dinner through their website.
What a way to kick off our time in Kyoto! We went back to the hotel to rest and get ready for a full day tour with a local guide the next day.
Enchanted Time with Maiko
594 Komatsucho Yasakadori
Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto 605-0811, Kyoto Prefecture