Memoires of a Tourist
Although real geiko and maiko are difficult to find in Kyoto, always dodging and ducking into tea houses and dark alley ways, these tourists replicas are always easy to spot. For between 12,000 and 30,000 yen you can dress up like this and fool all the foreigners at famous shrines and temples. Anyway, here at Kiyomizu-dera I saw some lovely young ladies dressed in wonderful costumes. I just found it ironic that these maiko would be carrying digital cameras. That is indeed the contrast that typifies Japanese culture.
Kiyomizu-dera is a Buddhist temple of the Hosso sect located near Mount Otowa. Although it was originally constructed in 778, it has been destroyed or partially destroyed several times since. As is the case with many Kyoto temples, it was re-built by Tokugawa Shogun, Iemitsu. In 1994, however, it was established as a world heritage site and was once a finalist for one of the new seven wonders of the world.
Kiyomizu-dera. Higashiyama, Kyoto.