This is probably the most famous of the Ochaya of Kyoto. Located on the corner of Shijo-dori and Hanamikoji-dori streets, it is only a few hundred meters from Yasaka Jinja and is in the heart of Gion. About 300 years old, the red walled Ichiriki Ochaya is noted for its traditional architecture and atmosphere, and also for the history that has occurred here.

The term Ochaya, is often translated into English as Tea House. However an establishment such as the Ichiriki Ochaya is not a place for drinking tea. This is an ultra exclusive, invitation only, place of entertainment where if you need to know the price, you definitely won’t be able to afford it. A single night of geisha entertainment with Geiko and Maiko in attendance will cost anything from 500-800,000 yen upwards. You cannot enter Ichiriki Ochaya. To visit requires a relationship, something that may take generations, and a lot of money. A lot of money alone will not suffice. Most of the customers are male, in many cases their connection between them and the Ichiriki is through their company, however female customers are not unusual and have been for more than 100 years.

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