"Maiko" Theater Gaining Popularity in Kyoto (News)


Kyoto (Jiji Press)—A recently opened theater in Kyoto's Higashiyama Ward featuring maiko, young female entertainers, is becoming a popular tourist attraction for visitors from abroad.

A maiko posed to welcome guests. (© Coco/Pixta)

At the Maiko Theater, launched in late 2016, audiences can enjoy dance performances by maiko and eat and drink with the apprentice female entertainers, who are in the process of learning traditional dance and music.

Anybody may enter the theater for a fixed charge, according to the operator. It is generally thought to be difficult to see maiko performances in Kyoto as many places offering such shows in Japan's ancient capital refuse first-time customers.

"I've wanted people to know the attraction of the culture of the hanamachi [geisha district]," said Kugu Tomoko, a representative of the maiko theater. "I've hoped to create a place where visitors can see maiko easily."

"Some 80 to 90 percent of the audience are foreigners. But, surprisingly, some people come from Kyoto," said Kugu, whose parents runs a restaurant in which maiko and senior female entertainers perform and provide accommodation for them.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

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