On a rainy day, Maiko walking down a street in Hanamachi

It rains a lot in Japan.  I actually don’t mind the rain so much as it often is a great opportunity to get great photos.  The light is different, the colors are more saturated, often we can get some beautiful reflection of lights on the paved streets. But most of all, I like raining days in the Hanamachi, the flower town or geisha districts of Kyoto.

Yes, when it’s raining, even a little bit, the Maiko and Geiko always use these beautiful “Janone”, the old traditional waxed Japanese washi paper and silk umbrellas, even to walk from their okiya (where they live) to next door ochaya (where they will meet their patrons).


Gion, Kyoto

Gion Higashi, Kyoto



KamiShichiken, Kyoto

There are five Hanamachi or Geisha Districts in Kyoto.  There is no secret to spot a maiko or geiko walking down the street — a lot of patience and a bit of luck, are the only way.  The best time is between 5 and 6 pm.

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