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Photos of geisha at work & play...

Let the games begin!  A beautiful Kyoto geisha poses with a rich businessman at the opening of a long evening of drinking, eating & chatting.  This group occupies the elevated outdoor patio kawadoko of a restaurant on ponto-cho overlooking the kamogawa river in Kyoto, just south of Sanjo dori.

The ornate back of a Kyoto geisha...replete with tight traditional hair style and ornaments, stark white neck makeup, multi-layered kimono and flowing colorful obi belt.

She waits patiently for the next in the group of businessmen who hired her services for the evening to pose alongside her for some pictures.

A co-worker takes a few pictures of his boss as he poses with a lovely Kyoto geisha at the start of an outdoor dinner party. this will be a long evening of drinking, chatting, serving, posing and entertaining.

Taking advantage of a moment of down time, a pretty young Kyoto geiko  (Kyoto dialect for geisha) checks and arranges her pale blue kimono between pictures with her patron.
A pretty Kyoto geisha manages a wan smile as she poses for pictures with a rich businessman along the kamogawa river in Kyoto.

In this exquisitely framed photograph a pair of geisha pose, each geiko with her own patron. This will be the opening formalities of a lavish party held on the raised outdoor patio known as kawadoko which spring up along the kamogawa river once the lovely spring weather comes.  These are expensive places to eat and socialize, usually with a minimum set menu charge per person, but worth splurging on once if you can afford it. Try a weeknight for a better chance of getting a seat. A rarified slice of real Kyoto.

A Kyoto geisha poses for photographs with her patrons, rich Japanese businessmen salariman on the raised patio kawadoko of an elegant Kyoto restaurant along the kamogawa river in Kyoto.

Strolling down kiyamachi, a drunken Japanese businessman leans onto his Kyoto geiko to be helped to the nijikai after-party...or get delivered into the back seat of that approaching taxi.
The geisha helps the doddering businessman to his taxi after a long evening...and she still looks fresh and lovely. All in a night's work for the venerable geisha and geiko of Kyoto.

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I stumbled across this guy's site recently. He provides tours and events at which foreigners can spend time with geisha.  He writes for Lonely Planet & seems to have a good operation... take a look if you want help with your itinerary.

The lovely neck of a Kyoto geisha as she poses alongside a businessman for another picture as the sun sets.  Gambatte!!!

Below are some photos of geisha taken under the lush canopy along the small road which runs parallel to Tetsugakunomichi but higher up into the hills. There are a few small lovely temples such as Honen-in up here which I recommend getting to.

Two geisha sit in a jinrikisha up above Tetsugakunomichi Philospher's Path in Kyoto.

Two geisha settle into their jinrikisha with help from the driver.

One geisha smiles out at the driver while the other geisha looks at the tour map. At the end of the day...we're all just people.