Where To Get Geisha/Maiko Pictures Taken in Kyoto

Geisha & Maiko pictures taken in Kyoto, Japan.

I love getting dressed up in period costumes and getting my picture taken. Through the years I’ve been a Cowboy, Civil War General, Canadian Mountie, Samurai, and plenty of other strange occupations. During my visit to Japan I wanted to make sure that there were plenty of opportunities for touristy dress up pictures.

The one thing I really wanted was traditional Geisha or Maiko pictures, but I was pretty sure the chances of me bumping into any real life Geisha walking the streets on Kyoto was pretty slim. So, with my wife’s permission, I booked a photo session with one of the top studios specializing in Geisha and Maiko pictures.

Studio Shiki

Studio Shiki - Geisha & Maiko pictures taken in Kyoto, Japan.

Studio Shiki is long-established photo shop specializing in the Maiko/Geiko transformation. Nestled in two beautiful locations in Kyoto, Studio Shiki provides the full experience. The girl gets to choose the kimono, obi, and hair she wants to use, while the makeup and dressing is taken care of by their expert staff.

After you are all dressed up you get your picture taken by a professional photographer, and, depending on which package you chose, walk around the traditional streets and have your picture taken in some beautiful locations. It’s quite an experience.

Here are a few tips if you’re planning on getting it done.

  • Take your time. The dressing section takes about two hours, so leave yourself plenty of time to enjoy the experience. The areas surrounding the two studios are worth visiting, so arrive early and take a stroll through the area.
  • It’s probably a good idea take along your makeup case. My wife tells me that they have makeup removal there, but the process is difficult and you probably will work faster with your own tools.
  • Book the package with the stroll around. The walk around is totally worth it, and you’ll have much more interesting and memorable pictures to share. Plus, the look on some of the Japanese faces as you stroll by with a Geisha is priceless.
  • Bring your own camera. If you take one of the stroll plans you’ll have plenty of opportunity to take pictures of your own. After the professional photographer was done we were even allowed half an hour to walk around on our own and take pictures.

The stroll plans start at $130 and include a photo album, 6 large prints, and a CD of all the photos. The price may scare you at first but I can almost guarantee that it will be a highlight of your trip.

If you having trouble deciding, here are some more beautiful Maiko pictures, and be sure to check out Studio Shiki’s website for more details.

Geisha & Maiko pictures taken in Kyoto, Japan.

Geisha & Maiko pictures taken in Kyoto, Japan.

Geisha & Maiko pictures taken in Kyoto, Japan.

Geisha & Maiko pictures taken in Kyoto, Japan.

Geisha & Maiko pictures taken in Kyoto, Japan.

Photo Credits: Maiko Pictures – Studio Shiki Gallery

8 Responses to “Where To Get Geisha/Maiko Pictures Taken in Kyoto”

  1. Nany Ballerina  on August 17th, 2010

    Hi, I have a question, I have a dream since I was a little girl. . .- Went to Japan and dress as a geisha
    Is it possible? Since I was little I have a passion for Japan, and geishas are so beautiful and frail. . .the dance of the fan is really stunning. . .I´ll be in Japan soon and I loved to now if my dream to dress and make-up as a geisha is possible

  2. Nany Ballerina  on August 17th, 2010

    Can you tell me the price and were is the studio?

    Thank you

  3. Travis  on August 17th, 2010

    Nany,if you’re in Kyoto, you can get these pictures at Studio Shiki – http://www.maiko-henshin.com/english/

    It costs anywhere from $65 to $125 if you get them taken in the studio, or $130 to $200 if you get one of their walk around plans.

    In my opinion the walk around plans are worth it as you’ll pictures outside in the beautiful Gion district of Kyoto.

    I’ve also heard you can sometimes dress up at certain Japanese amusement parks. But they wouldn’t match the full treatment and complete kimono like Studio Shiki would.

    Hope that help :)

  4. Angie  on December 15th, 2012

    Hi there, I was wondering which package you purchased and where the second and last pictures were taken, were those in the studio somewhere? Thanks

  5. Travis  on December 16th, 2012

    We purchased the Mini Outdoor plan, the one where you walk around the small nearby streets. I’m not sure where that last photo was taken, as they have two locations and it’s a promotional piece for the website so it may not be one of their regular locations.

  6. anreid  on December 17th, 2012

    Oh I see. So is the picture of her in the studio (the fourth picture) also a promotional photo because the website says that the mini outdoor has 30 photos outside. Did they take some inside and also some outside for this package? Sorry to be asking so many specifics but I emailed the studio and they just replied with a generic response and link to their reservation form. Also, I will be going in winter (beginning of January) and I wondered if you could give me your thoughts on the outside plan during this time of year, do you think pictures outside would still be nice here in the winter?

  7. Travis  on December 17th, 2012

    When we did it they took all the photos outside, but it may be possible to do both? We went in fall to the main shop and all the small little streets around it made for some nice photos. Winter can be a bit rainy and the trees may not be as great, but there are plenty of architectural spots that would still look great. And with the right kimono, even a grey day can have some pretty amazing photography opportunities.

  8. Melanie Fry  on April 21st, 2016

    Staying Kyoto until 26 April.


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