One of Kyoto’s annual spring geisha performances, the Kitano Odori is performed by the geiko (the Kyoto word for geisha) and maiko (apprentice geiko) of the Kamishichen district. The show typically has three parts: a short play, a series of dances, and the Kamishichiken Serenade. The Kitano Odori first began in 1952, as part of the anniversary celebration for the founding of nearby Kitano Tenmangu Shrine.
Performances, which last 90 minutes, are held at the Kamishichiken Kabukai at 4pm. On April 24th, 29th, and 30th this year there will be an additional performance at 1:30pm. Note that due to the pandemic there will be no tea service this year; audience members are required to wear masks throughout the performance.
Tickets for the Kitano Odori cost ¥8,000 and can be purchased online (in Japanese) or from JTB travel agencies (until the day of the event), the tourist information center on the 2nd floor of Kyoto Station (up to a week before the performance date), and from the theater box office (until three days before the performance date) — depending on availability. Tickets go on sale from February 10th.
Geisha performances in Kyoto
Kyoto’s public geisha performances are the best way to see the city’s iconic performing artists for a (comparatively) reasonable price. (And is much politer than chasing them through the streets). Other performances on the annual calendar include: