Dressed in formal, black kimono maiko (apprentice geisha) from the Miyagawa-cho district of Kyoto, Japan visit tea houses and teachers to wish them a happy new year. In front the maiko Fukuhiro with Fukue, Fukuho and Fukuya behind.
Japan, glimpse a fading cultural icon in Kyotos Gion neighborhood. If Japan has a face, its to be found in this small district directly adjacent to Yasaka Shrine, for its here that the geisha—or geiko, as theyre known in Kyoto—live and work.
A Maiko walks in the snow in Gion, Kyoto's famous geisha district, January 2006 in Kyoto, Japan. The ancient city Kyoto attracts the largest number of visitors in Japan and has been increasing every year. (Photo by Koichi Kamoshida/Getty Images)
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Susohiki (also called hikizuri) are trailing kimono worn by geiko and onnagata (male kabuki performers who play female roles) when performing. They must be held up while walking, as shown here. Photo by Fuyou-hime on deviantART