Maiko Fumiyoshi performing the dance

Dedication dance by Maiko, apprentice Geisha

Maiko from Kyoto’s four of the five entertainment areas or geisha districts (Hanamachi) will perform dances dedicated to the gods at the Yasaka shrine. This event occurs outside on the shrine’s stage at the beginning of the Higashiyama Hanatouro Festival.

Approximately 2500 lanterns decorate the 5 km walking path that leads to the foothills of Higashiyama Mountain. From the north, the path goes through Shoren-in Temple and Maruyama Park, and then through Yasaka Shrine to Kiyomizu-dera Temple in the south. It’s a great opportunity to enjoy the charms of these preserved Kyoto streets.

As Maiko Fumiyoshi san from Miyagawa-Cho was one of the two dancers on the first day, I really wanted to see the event and be able to take a few photos.  I arrived at the stage almost two hours ahead of the starting time, but it was already too late to get a prime spot to be able to capture the stage without obstruction.  Indeed, there were already quite a number of photographers occupying the front of the stage and I was only able to place myself on the third raw. But that would have to do.  The waiting time was spent discussing with the others and reading a book.

Yasaka Jinja, Kyoto

Yasaka Shrine, located at the end of Shijo Street

For more information about the Higashiyama Hanatouro, checkj this web page:

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