122863896054275831_8wXaxSQ2_cGeishas compared with a Maiko/Geisha apprentice is less showy. A Geisha kimono is usually a strong base color with a simple design and subtle patterns based on scenes from nature or traditional Japanese themes, according to the seasons. Similarly, the Obi / cloth around his waist, as most tend to be brocade fabric of a single color, usually adorned with minimal Obi belts and brooches.

Everyday hairstyle of a Geisha is a relatively simple set of hair. Full-part wigs are worn for formal occasions and dance performances. At the more formal dress, she has a white makeup and wearing a black kimono with five symbols, two front and three at the back. A white-collar under the kimono is a sign of high status Geisha.

Compared to the old Japanese Geisha is a very different life today. The girls become Geishas of her own free will and stay as long as they wish. There are few Geishas left the profession and in danger of disappearing. Many old Hanamachi/Geisha district has also disappeared recently. There are those who talk of reinstating the traditional geisha’s world, but if this will ever happen is uncertain. Perhaps Geishas becomes another form of tourist attraction that will be adapted to the more modern Japan.

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Fukujuen is one of the most famous tea companies in Kyoto and has over 210 years of history. Fukujuen has recently opened a new and interesting ‘workshop where you can experience how to make tea. Not brew a cup of tea, but experience the process of preparing fresh tea leaves for brewing tea, first hand, by hand.

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Kyoto has been holding the reputation as the birthplace of high quality of tea. The plant is flourishing especially in Uji, which is located on the south in Kyoto, for the reasons below.“Rich nature and environment suited to the cultivation.” There are two rivers running – the Kizu river and the Uji river – through, and morning mist comes up from both rivers gives enough moisture to tea trees. And the property in Uji surrounded by many mountains is suitable for the growing of tea.” Tradition rooted on this area” Until the Kamakura Era, Kyoto was the center of everything; culture, academy, art, architecture, economy, and politics. And the way of tea had been formed and sharpened, and refined by many great pioneers like Eisai or Senno-Rikyu, Tea Master, and its style and thought still remain as the part of Japanese tradition.

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baika-saiBaika-Sai – The Plum Blossom Festival

Confronted with the Fujiwara conspiracy to banish him to Dazaifu, Michizane wrote the following poem in front of the ume trees at Kobaidono, the Michizane residence in Kyoto, just before he departed on the journey. When the east wind blows, loose your fragrance, for even without their master, ume blossoms should never forget Spring. There is a well known legend, the Tobiume Densetsu, which has it that out of their yearning, the ume trees flew all the way to Dazaifu in a single night, before Michizane even arrived there, to lay down new roots and release their fragrance for their master. As that famous poem shows, Michizane had an extraordinary love for ume blossom. Kitano-Tenmangu has about 1,500 ume trees of more than 50 types spread over the approximately 6.6 hectares of the shrine grounds, and today it is the most famous ume viewing spot in Kyoto. February 25th is the day of Michizane’s death, and the Baika-sai Ume Blossom Festival is held on this day every year. At the festival, always bustling with visitors, geisha from the Kamishichiken district of Kyoto brew tea in an outdoor tea ceremony amid the strong fragrance of the ume blossom.  The best time to view the blossoms is the period from the end of February until the middle of March, when ume trees with either red or white blossoms, and both single and double-flowered blossoms fill the garden with their sweet fragrance.

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A hagoita is a rectangular board with a handle used for playing a New Year game called hanetsuki. It is perhaps best described as a kind of game hitting badminton shuttlecocks with large ping-pong rackets. The hagoita sold at Hagoita-ichi, however, are not for practical use; they are, in fact, good-luck charms for ornamental purposes, for they are decorated with gorgeous pictures and accessories. The front of the hagoita is designed with images of elegantly made-up Kabuki actors.

 Kanji hatsu means first or start in Japanese

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japHigashiyama-ku, meaning “easten mountain ward,” is one of Kyoto’s eleven wards. It was created in 1929 when split off from Shimogyō-ku. From 1931 to 1976, it also covered present-day Yamashina-ku. It is roughly bound by Sanjō street in the north, and the Jūjō street in the south, the Kamo River on the west, and the Higashiyama mountain range on the east. Its primary attractions include the Gion District and Yasaka Shrine, the stone-paved roads Ninenzaka and Sannenzaka leading up to Kiyomizu Temple, Tōfuku-ji, Kennin-ji, Kōdai-ji, and Sanjūsangen-dō.

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Kyoto Arashiyama Hanatouro

Hanatouro is an event where the ancient capital of Kyoto, which has 1,200 years of tradition, will be lit up with millions of beautiful lights. This artistic event is presented with a fantastic atmosphere.

Sagano – Arashiyama Area, a place known for being rich in nature, holds Hanatouro every December. After sunset when the streets became dark, 2,500 Andon, oriental lamps, are installed on the streets and will be lit up all at once. The bamboo forest, Togetsukyo Bridge across the Katsura River as well as historical temples and shrines will all be illuminated.

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geishaYasunari Kawabata, the first Japanese to win the nobel prize 1968 once wrote “If for no other reason than to preserve traditional hairstyles, the geisha’s existance is vital. I wonder how and when these hairstyles developed.”

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This is a popular onsen Japanese style hot spring in Kurama. They offer a variety of baths, both indoors and outdoors. Try roten buro, natural setting outdoor bath while enjoying the tranquil view of surrounding cedar trees.

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