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Maikover Time

and an Oragami Party

overcast -15 °C

A Maiko is an apprentice Geisha, their costume/hair are slightly different but they wear the white face and kimono associated with the Geisha tradition.

Today, we went to Yume Koubou where they offer several makeover packages which allow you to be transformed into either Maiko or Geisha. The more expensive packages also allow you to be escorted around Gion (geisha district) dressed in full garb. We aren't exhibitionists enough for that but we did sign ourselves up for the Maiko makeover and photo shoot package.

It doesn't take much to see us off on a titter fit, so when the experience started by having to strip to our undies and whack on a see-through white robe, we found it hard to remain straight faced. More amusement abound when we had all of our hair scraped back into a net so that we now know how we both look completely bald. We were feeling anything but glamorous at this point!

Emma was first to have her make up put on- by the time they started hitting her in the face with a white sponge, we had to stop looking at each other because we would have fallen into hysteria.

Make up a-go-go, we headed to the Kimono wardrobe looking like male transvestite panto performers. We picked the Kimono we wanted to wear and were tugged and prodded into place before having a lavish wig planted on our heads. We were under strict instructions to not to touch our hair or face and to carry our kimonos in a very particular way, so that we could walk gracefully into the photo studio. Easier said that done for two women who struggle with the concept of 'ladylike'.

We were coaxed into various poses by very animated photographers. There was about 10 minutes of 'face, face, face', 'sexy face', 'nice'. Then, 'eyes, eyes, eyes', 'tilt', 'smile' 'nice'. If we look confused in the photos, it's because we weren't au natural in front of the lens. They also put us in stilt like heels to pose, which is particularly dangerous for two people who have been known to fall over in heels from a stationary position.

You'll have to wait to see the official photos as we we only have them on CD at the moment but we have a few that one of the lovely make up ladies took on our camera.

Lights, camera, action!


and a few that we took when left to our own devices....


check out the scary zombie faces on the make-down. You might be able to tell that we got a bit boisterous when freed from our kimonos. This is probably how real Geisha behave too after work:

Back to the hostel and the next stop was the Origami Party which they organise for free at Khaosan Kyoto! Ain't no party like an origami party! I think we both thought we would be much better than we were- there's a heck of a lot of folding involved. We made a crane, a balloon, a frog and a rose.

We were soon assured that this was not going to become our new hobby when the instructors and other participants pointed to our attempts and fell about in hysterics. We didn't impress anyone that night with our origami skills but we definitely made them laugh with our attempts. Good fun all round.

Posted by Ashton and Emma 04:03 Archived in Japan Tagged kyoto origami khaosan yume koubou

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