Geisha and Maiko Makeover Experience in Kyoto Gion Aya

Geisha and Maiko Makeover Experience in Kyoto Gion Aya

Geisha and Maiko Makeover Experience in Kyoto Gion Aya
5
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
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About
We love Kyoto and we love the world of the maiko! It is our pleasure to provide a lasting and fun experience through traditional Kyoto culture. At our studio you can turn yourself into a maiko complete with real traditional wigs, kimonos, obis, shoes and accessories. And then you can have a studio portrait taken, take your own photos and walk around on the amazing old streets that are just minutes from our front door. Our staffs extend a warm welcome to you. We are located in a traditional 100-year-old machiya townhouse, sitting in the heart of Kyoto's legendary Gion district. The most famous home of the maiko in all of Japan surrounded by traditional restaurants, ryokans, tea houses, shrines and more. Our make-up room and entire machiya townhouse is clean, comfortable and elegant. Our amenities and facilities were designed to create a perfect experience from start to finish. Let us turn you into a Japanese maiko. What to bring: - Your own cosmetics. We provide the cosmetics for the maiko experience but not for afterwards. - Your camera. We take studio photos but also give you time to take more photos on your own.
Suggested duration
2-3 hours
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5.0
193 reviews
Excellent
173
Very good
16
Average
1
Poor
1
Terrible
2

Ptgirl90
Bexley, UK58 contributions
Feb 2020 • Couples
I can't rate this place enough. From start to finish it was an amazing experience. The staff were all lovely and very attentive. The experience flowed smoothly and I had the most amazing time. The make up was fantastic and there were many kimonos to choose from. The packages are very fairly priced and the photos you get at the end are fab. No one pushes you to buy anything extra, which makes you feel at ease. I'd go back and get it done all over again if I had the time. There was an apprentice photographer who was so sweet and gave me a special photo and origami for my birthday. I'd highly recommend the experience!!!!!
Written February 13, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you for visitng AYA! We are glad to hear that you had fun with this experience. We are glad that you all enjoyed it. We are looking forward to meet you again! Hope you had a blast in Kyoto. Arigato!
Written February 27, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Corine<3Travel
Hoorn, The Netherlands2 contributions
Sep 2019
I compared a lot of studio's and liked this one the best, based on lacation, price, options, information on the site. The location is perfect for photo's outside, al the streets in the area are very traditional, even if you don't go to the famous streets in Gion.
The transformation felt really authentic, some of the products I thought were a bid odd, like a multi purpose wax, are very traditional according to a friend who studies geisha culture at the university in Kyoto. The kimono has many many many layers which was very uncomfortable because it was a very very very hot day (inside the traditional building it is nice and cool), but they were prepared and had a cool pack ready for the shoot outside. Mayumi the photographer is very good in coaching me with hardly any modeling experience. Even beter was Naomi, she did the transformation and helped out with everything else. She even helped me take a lot of pictures when i had my free time because I was alone.
I am really pleased with the result and it was a great experience and, even more then i thought it would, gives a small insight into Maiko live. Which makes there grace and ease of moving even more impressive.
Written April 2, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Sorry for my late reply. Thank you for visiting Gion AYA! We are very happy that you enjoyed shooting outdoors. Mayumi unfortunately retired, but Naomi is still enrolled, so I'll show her your review. It may be difficult to come to Kyoto right now due to COVID-19, but please come back to Kyoto again in the near future. All the staff are looking forward to seeing you again. Thank you for your wonderful review.
Written June 25, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Helena C
Lucerne, Switzerland6 contributions
Dec 2019
My 15 years old daughter turned to a beautiful maiko! Thank you, Sono Kimura! We were in a rush so just did the courtyard photos. You can choose three posts and they will give you one picture of each post. You can buy the pictures in a USB for $30. Great experience!
Written January 6, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you for coming Gion AYA!! We are very glad to hear your review:) Your daughter transformed into beautiful Maiko! We were so happy to look you and your daughter's smile!! We are looking forward to meeting you again! Thank you!!!
Written January 7, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

lkislock
Vancouver, Canada5 contributions
Mar 2020 • Friends
If you really want to feel like a Geisha - then you must visit Maiko and Geisha Makeover Experience in Kyoto Gion Area. I felt like a princess having my hair and makeup done. An excellent choice of luxurious kimonos. Lots of photography options. Highly recommend! A special thank you to make up artist, Mirai and photographer Toshiko!
Written March 6, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you for coming AYA!!! And your reveiw! Mirai and Yoshiko and laa staff are very glad to hear your reveiw. You and your son's girl friend were so beautiful Geisha!!! The time we spent with you was really fun and meaningful! We are looking forward to meeting you again in the future. Thank you:)
Written March 6, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

jhayroe
Honolulu, HI28 contributions
Apr 2014 • Friends
I have always found Asian art beautiful, which of course includes the dress and culture surrounding the world of Geisha. My fascination further increased after reading and watching Memoir of Geisha. I knew on my 2 week trip to Japan that I definitely wanted the opportunity to dress as a Geisha and Aya photography studio made my dreams come true!

During my 3 day stay in Kyoto, I simply googled geisha dress and found my way onto Aya's website. I was able to make a reservation over the phone (limited English, but I was able to make the appointment). I was also able to find my way to their location from directions listed on their website without too much trouble (I happen to be very terrible with directions, so this was great)

After coming to the studio and deciding on the right package for me, I was led to a locker room where I changed into a simple white gown. From their my full maiko geisha makeup was applied. My make up artist was incredibly gentle and sweet and spoke a few words of English. I was able to take some selfies of the process. The make up took at least 30 min+ (but it was really fun!) Then a wig is fitted and my blond hair was pulled around the wig and temporary paint applied around it so it looked flawless! My stylist then took me upstairs to dress me in a Kimono and Obi (many beautiful colors I was able to choose from) It was fun getting to be dressed in the Kimono and learn they are put on in various steps with secret ropes and inserts. It took at least 15 min to get dressed. They are a little tight which makes you have that much more appreciation for the Geisha!

Here is the part of my story where I get to tell you how my stylist at Aya went above and beyond. My friend I had been on my trip with went to Aya's partner photography studio down the street for a very different modern and sexy geisha photo shoot. After my Kimono and makeup were done, my stylist walked me in the Maiko shoes down to the other photography studio so that my friend and I could take pictures together. Super fun!

I then went back to Aya for my photo shoot. I got to pick from several examples of poses and props which included traditional Japanese umbrellas, Maiko sandals and fans. After my photoshoot with the professional photographer I was taken to their small outdoor garden space where an Aya assistant took several photos of me with my own camera.

Afterwards, my stylist helped me disrobe from the Kimono (which comes off much much faster than it takes to go on!) And I went back into the changing room to scrub off the make up and black paint from my hair.

Afterwards I got 4 printed 8x10 pictures and a CD rom with the rest of the pictures from my photoshoot. The package I got cost about $150 USD and the studio did accept credit cards and the entire process probably took about 3 hours. Overall I thought it was worth every penny because I had so much fun and the pictures were beautiful. I recommend it to any lady going to Kyoto!
Written November 16, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you so much for choosing and recommending AYA. We are glad to hear that you had am amazing experience with us. Hope you had a blast in Japan!
Written September 18, 2017
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

AnnaJuh
Zurich, Switzerland15 contributions
Jul 2016 • Friends
I can absolutely recommend this place for a geiko-maiko-samurai makeover 😉
we spent a very short time in Kyoto and really wanted to try this. I was looking for the best place to do it after I've read a lot of reviews and so many horror stories about other places... I found the Gion Aya as the best option and booked online 2 days in advance, and I got an answer straight away that my booking is confirmed. They have website in english as well with all the information you need. On the day of the makeover i took one of my friend with me. She didn't have a booking but it was no problem at all for her to join me. We both choose the Maiko and the courtyard plan. (We wanted the walkaround, but it was a bit rainy.) The staff is absolutely lovely, they don't push you with anything and they are very polite. They don't speak so much english but we didn't find it difficult or disturbing this at all. They take care of you very well and everything was clear. No hidden costs. You get it all what is in your plan 😉 They have their own photographer as well and we found him very professional. He does excellent job and the pictures are worth it! I really liked that we could take photos with our phones too at any stage of the process😉 and that they had everything to remove that thick makeup afterwards, even shampoo and hairdryer, so you don't have to carry that with yourself at all😊

You won't find any better!

Thank you Gion Aya for the amazing experience!
Written July 9, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you so much for choosing and recommending AYA. We are very happy to hear that you had a wonderful experience with us. your review made us really happy! Arigato!
Written October 3, 2017
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

mirandaochoa10
Austin, TX20 contributions
Aug 2015 • Solo
This place was one of the highlights of my trip in Kyoto. They spend time doing your makeup and really pampering you. Also you get to chose the outfit of your choice! The women there are amazing and spoil you with attention.

To be completely honest, I was skeptical because I felt like it was a super touristy thing to do but they talked to me about history and I asked questions about it. The Geisha history is really interesting and you should read up on it before you go. I cannot wait till I have a daughter because I will definitely bring her here!
Written May 23, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you so much for choosing and recommending AYA. We are very happy to hear that this experience with us became the highlight of your trip! We also hope to see your daughter with you in the future! Arigato!
Written October 3, 2017
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Amit A
11 contributions
Oct 2016 • Couples
There are really no words to describe how wonderful this experience was for us. This was a surprise for my wife and I wasn't sure if they could fit us in but they did and we're truly blessed for that. We arrived at 13:30 and we're greeted by the lovely staff. I chose the luxurious plan and I regret not taking the ultimate one since it was so much fun! My wife was whisked off to makeup and I was left to sip cold tea and wait in the lovely tatami waiting room. My wife emerged about 45 minutes later with the makeup and Nagajuban (at least I think it was Nagajuban) on, ready to choose a kimono. Yukiko the makeup artist did a phenomenal job highlighting the features of the face and eyes. After fitting on the kimono (there are a lot of knots to wearing one), Mayumi the photographer took over and we moved on to the studio. My wife described Mayumi as wonderful and honestly, I think she's super talented. She instructed my wife on everything, where to look, how to arch the back, everything needed to make the photos look amazing. We then went out to Gion and Mayumi and her assistant took more pictures, this part was really funny because people kept walking up taking pictures of my wife, I mean, she looked awesome but still... We were then given time to stroll around Gion and took some lovely pictures ourselves. I wanted to hit the shrines in the area but Okobo were a bit hard on my wife and we cut it short. The pictures were amaziing, the stuff was wonderful and we will definitely return...I wonder if I can be a maiko too..^_^
Written October 21, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you so much for choosing and recommending AYA. We are glad to hear that you and your wife had a wonderful experience with us. Unfortunaly we don't have maiko course for men... but we do have men's kimono, like samurai style! Hope to see you again in the future! Arigato!
Written October 3, 2017
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Joanna955
Dubai, United Arab Emirates13 contributions
Apr 2016
Awesome experience! Personnel was professional and friendly. The makeup and hair-do took around 40 min. The real fun was to wear real kimono with all the layers od clothing! And then of course photo session with helpful photographer! I loved it :)
Written April 22, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you so much for choosing and recommending AYA. We are glad to hear that you had a wonderful experience with us. Hope you had a blast in Japan! Arigato!
Written October 3, 2017
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

AngieChan
59 contributions
Nov 2015 • Solo
I heard about AYA through another website and was floored to see what services they offered! I had gleefully made two appointments--one for a maiko makeover/photo shoot, another for a geiko makeover/photo shoot.

The scheduling process was simple and easy to do through the AYA website. They were flexible enough to change the time of one appointment (two weeks in advance) when my travel buddies added a tour to the itinerary.

For both my maiko and geiko makeup sessions, I had the pleasure of Kozue's expertise. She was very kind and did an AMAZING job with my makeup both times. She was very careful with her work and wanted to ensure that I was happy with it. This professionalism extends to the wig/accessories/kimono fitting too. Kozue's wonderful work laid the essential foundation for both great sessions--and the fantastic photos to follow.

Yuuki was my photographer for the big maiko shoot. I purchased the top tier package and both Yuuki and his assistant helped me walk through the Gion quarter while posing me for photos. They offered their hands to help me negotiate obstacles/uneven terrain, which says alot for how much AYA staff cares.

The prices are very reasonable--especially when one considers the sheer amount of expertise needed to properly look the part of a Kyoto maiko/geiko, as well as the photographer's expertise.

For anyone concerned for their purse/goods, AYA assigns you a locker and gives you a pouch to keep your phone, camera, and locker key in. The staff ensures that the pouch is in your sight at all times. To make it even better, when you go for a walk in Gion, they put the pouch into a "maiko purse" of your choosing. This also makes for a more authentic look (and more photo opportunities).

I am incredibly thankful for this opportunity and I will cherish these photos forever. I would recommend AYA as a "must-visit" for anyone coming to Kyoto. You will not regret it!
Written November 3, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you so much for choosing and recommending AYA. We are happy that you had a wonderful experience with us. Kozue and Yuki are especially happy that you liked the experience! Arigato!
Written October 3, 2017
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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