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 Post subject: Gion Aya Maiko Experience [img heavy]
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 12:47 am 
Shikomi-san
Shikomi-san

Joined: Sun Sep 01, 2013 4:29 pm
Posts: 20
Location: France
Fav. Maiko: Fukunae, Tomitae
Fav. Geiko: Miehina
Fav. Motif: Sakura, Ume, Momiji
So I'm very late but I had a maiko transformation last April, right during the sakura season. As I had a very nice experience I would like to share it with you, also in case you are planning on doing a maiko henshin in Kyoto. I had actually been thinking and dreaming about this plan for a year and a half before actually deciding to do it :lol:
I had been looking at Gion Aya studio website again and again before going to Japan and had decided to have the "Nene Plan", which includes two photos taken inside, and four outside. I also asked for a CD of additional photos taken during the experience.
Truthfully, I was very anxious on the morning I went to the studio ! Though I don't really know why...
When I entered the actual studio, I ended up in a "Japanese traditional house"-like place where I was greeted warmly by the staff. I spoke Japanese all along and I admit it helps to create a very nice mood, but I saw other staff girls talking to Tawainese tourists in English and the atmosphere was also very nice.
I loved the make up part. The staff girl applied rouge on my lips in such a nice way that I really loved my reflection in the mirror. I really felt "maiko-ish" with this minor detail :lol:
The only drawback for the make-up part is that she applied too much eye liner on my eyelids, and it started dripping on one eye at a moment (I was very scared to have it get into my eye, for I was wearing lenses :mad: )
Then I had a half-wig put on my head, and I asked for black spray on my hair to make it more natural. I was amazed again at the result. I didn't think I could really look like the real deal, but I was very satisfied with what I was seeing !
After waiting a little while as the studio was a bit busy, I was given time to choose a kimono. Well, to tell the truth, I had seen a blue one on the website I absolutely wanted to wear, and I was lucky enough to find it among the available kimono in front of me ! Yay~
I got dressed and was impressed that the staff girls can actually pull so hard on the darari obi while tying it ! About the obi though, I noticed several threads out of place on it, and it was not the only one like this. When I got to choose a hana kanzashi, I was a bit disappointed by the fact that almost all of the remaining kanzashi looked old and overworn. The most new looking ones must have been chosen by girls before me. I chose a weeping sakura/silver butterflies combo one.
And then I was ready to go ! So here are the studio photos :

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These are the indoor ones. It felt great sitting on the tatami floor with the kimono leaves covering my hands like wings~ :content:
Then it was time to go outside. I asked for normal zori shoes instead of okobo, because I'm 1,70m and I felt it would seem really awkward if I wore even half-okobo. The staff was very understanding and I was provided with well-sized zori.
I was veeeeery embarassed to have to go in the street in this outfit. I attracted the attention of A LOT of Japanese and foreign tourists. I think I have been taken pictures of by at least 30 people while shooting :eek:
Well, I knew it would become something like that, and in the end it was as fun as it was embarassing :lol:

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Here are some bonus pictures I asked the staff to take for me :

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This is the only picture where I can actually see the full obi and my painted nape.

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A close up on the kanzashi. You can clearly see it is not brand new but it's still cute in my opinion.

And I took this last one just to see the hikizuri actually trail on the floor like a real maiko haha.

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In the end it was a very very nice experience, and in fact a dream come true. I really enjoyed myself doing this, and even felt "pretty" looking at myself with this make up on my face. I think I got more confident with Japanese traditional make up haha.
I could hardly recognise myself on the printed photos at first, and I think the staff did a wonderful job. I would recommend this studio to anyone who would like to do the same experience ! I am for myself really happy to have become a maiko (kind of...) for a few hours~ :smil3:


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 Post subject: Re: Gion Aya Maiko Experience [img heavy]
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 2:20 am 
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Shikomi-san
Shikomi-san

Joined: Sat May 12, 2012 4:40 pm
Posts: 74
Fav. Motif: Sakura, Water, Chidori
Geimyo: Hatsuoki
Wow you look really beautiful! Your eyes stand out especially. :lovelove This is the place I want to go to when I do maiko henshin! :katana:


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 Post subject: Re: Gion Aya Maiko Experience [img heavy]
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 3:19 pm 
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Maiko-san
Maiko-san

Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 10:04 pm
Posts: 899
Location: Maryland, USA
Wow! You look amazing. What fun! :lovelove

And don't worry about things being worn. It is actually more authentic.

I have a few kimonos and obi that belonged to Maiko in the Kamishichiken district. There are photos of them wearing the items just months before I was able to buy them. Guess what. They are in terrible condition - holes, wear on the edges, dirt, food stains, threads that have worn through, etc.

I think these things are so expensive that they just wear them until they can't. 8-O


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 Post subject: Re: Gion Aya Maiko Experience [img heavy]
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 4:43 pm 
Shikomi-san
Shikomi-san

Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:33 pm
Posts: 232
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Fav. Geiko: Kouchou (ret.)
Fav. Motif: Celestial, waves, peacock
Wow, you look fantastic! Very much like a perfect maiko. I think they did a really wonderful job on your makeup; sometimes I feel that geiko/maiko makeup doesn't flatter Westerners, but I think you look so delicate and beautiful! That blue hiki is so striking on you, too!

I agree with Chiisana Hato--they likely take as good care of their items as they can, but when they're worn several times a day and often by careless people, it's very easy for them to get damaged. Even pulling hard on them can pull and loosen threads! But goodness, I wish I had done this last time I was in Kyoto. I feel like I missed out on such an opportunity.

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 Post subject: Re: Gion Aya Maiko Experience [img heavy]
PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 7:21 am 
Jimae Geiko
Jimae Geiko

Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2011 4:24 pm
Posts: 4677
Location: Netherlands
Fav. Motif: Floral, shibori, asanoha
Geimyo: 昊蓮 - Kouren
It feels so good to finally see a very decent and almost genuine hensin! You look very close to the real deal!
Stunning !

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 Post subject: Re: Gion Aya Maiko Experience [img heavy]
PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:17 am 
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Shikomi-san
Shikomi-san

Joined: Sun Nov 24, 2013 4:33 pm
Posts: 206
Location: France
Fav. Motif: fox pinwheel uroko hanabi
Geimyo: 小狸のじじ
You look striking, the blue of that kimono enhances the color of your eyes :lovelove
Thank you for the extensive feedback of your henshin experience. I wanted to do one while in Kyoto but went unprepared and felt quite lost once there. How much time did you spend at the studio etc ?

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 Post subject: Re: Gion Aya Maiko Experience [img heavy]
PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2014 11:57 pm 
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Minarai-san
Minarai-san

Joined: Sat Dec 01, 2012 10:55 pm
Posts: 381
Location: USA
Fav. Maiko: Mameharu, Katsumi
Fav. Geiko: Kyouka, Tsuneyu, Ayano, Kofuku
Fav. Motif: Pine, Geometric, Yabane
Wow, you look so pretty! Like people have already pointed out, the way your eyes stand out is just lovely. Great pictures. :kawaii:

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