Gion is born out of the medieval ages of Kyoto, Japan. This district is home to ladies of arts called ‘geisha,’ whose old ways of serving tea and performing ceremonial acts inspire one to move in a delicate balance and sophistication. Gion’s streets can be wide and narrow, uphill and down, illuminated and fading. Every turn has a surprise from then and now, from temples and shrines to art works and specialty stores.
One of the best ways of enjoying Gion is blending in. And one can do so by dressing up like the maiko or geisha apprentice. Many stores offer the joys of wearing a summer dress called ‘yukata’ whole day, complete with props and hair styling, and you can walk or hop trains and buses around Kyoto while wearing this costume. Apparently you can haggle down to 7,000 yen for two (or about P2,000) if you wish to wear it for only an hour (this happens when you are running out of time before your flight, and Kansai airport seems historical periods away).
As we signed off from our combat in Gion, we saw a geisha shuffling down the road. Her white face an image of real honor and duty. We pause in awe and respect.