A Starry Night of Wishes: Tanabata Festival at Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine

Nestled amidst the picturesque landscapes of Fukuoka Prefecture in Japan, the Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine stands as a place of reverence and cultural significance. Each year, during the enchanting Tanabata Festival, this sacred site comes alive with vibrant decorations, captivating performances, and a sense of celestial wonder. Let’s discover the ethereal charm of Tanabata at Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine.


Nara’s Hanamachi Deserves As Much Attention As Kyoto

If you think of the word geisha you probably automatically think Kyoto. Understandable—Kyoto maiko’s image is one of the most popular symbols of Japan (I even did my own academic study confirming this thesis) and it’s so distinctive that it serves as a pattern of a unified geisha look.
But not far from Kyoto lies a real treasure: a small one-house geisha district in Nara, abundant with culture, traditions, and hope for a bright future. Let’s have a look inside.


Maiko Toshinaho—New Star of Komaya Okiya

Book a meeting with maiko and/or a guided tour in Kyoto now at geishakagai@gmail.com

At a tranquil August evening, just a night before a typhoon hit Kyoto, I had a privilege to be entertained by a charming maiko Toshinaho of Miyagawacho district. It is one of my job’s perks when a customer requests to meet a geiko or maiko privately. It was quite difficult to arrange an ozashiki in the middle of Obon holidays, but luckily, while the Gion Kobu artists and local businesses are off, the Miyagawacho geimaiko don’t mind the holidays and keep on working. So young Toshinaho of the Komaya house was chosen to be our star that night.


Winter Wonderland and its Demonic Legends – Kyoto’s Kibune Town

I’ve been waiting anxiously for snowy weather over here. This year’s winter in Kyoto, however, is mild and quite warm. There were only four snowy days, including the past weekend, this season. Downtown Kyoto was covered only with a thin, fragile layer of wet snow. But up in the North, there is a magical area called Kibune. (more…)