Japan 2015: Maiko Makeover

I had been really excited about getting made up as a Maiko ever since we planned on visiting the city of Kyoto, and was heavily pitching it to Ai and Ru when we planned our itinerary. We headed over to Maica, which was located in a small quiet street in Gion. We had previously made a reservation online, so were worried that we would find ourselves to be maigo (lost) on our way to become maiko… very punny. :p

We informed the staff on the package we wanted (the Nagomi plan for ¥10,800 including tax), and commenced up the stairs to the changing rooms. Phones and other recording devices were not allowed there – we had to cough out a few more hundred yen to store our belongings in lockers, and whatever cameras we wanted to use after our makeover was stored for free in a separate locker – so I wasn’t able to capture the makeover process. You’ll have to take my word for it when I say that they were very efficient all the way from getting us to choose our kimonos and wigs to applying our makeup.

Photo assist: Maica staff, Ai, Ru.

Daylight was getting scarce by the time we were done, but we managed to get some shots on the street directly outside the shop. We also had to be supervised by a staff member while taking photos outside; she ended up being our photographer for most of our shots, and I think we wound up entertaining her with many of our uncharacteristic (read: unglam) poses. Here’s an obligatory demure shot of us at the shop entrance though.