Celebrate spring in Kyoto with the annual Miyako Odori, a performance by geiko (the Kyoto word for geisha) and maiko (apprentice geiko) from Gion Kobu — the largest geisha district in the city.
The Miyako Odori (“Dances of the Capital”) was first performed in 1872, as part of Japan’s first world’s fair, held in Kyoto. Very little has changed since. Acts portray the four seasons in Kyoto, culminating with the arrival of those stars of spring, the cherry blossoms.
There are three, 50-minute performances a day: 12:00pm, 2:20pm and 4:40pm. 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 either ¥4,000 (second class seats) or ¥5,500 (first class seats) can be purchased online from January 6th. Though historically held at the Kaburenjo Theater, this year (as in other recent years) the Miyako Odori will be held at Minami-za Theater.
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:
To learn more about geisha and their arts, as well as recommendations for additional events and experiences, check out our complete guide to seeing geisha, geiko and maiko in Kyoto.To prevent the spread of COVID-19, many events have been canceled. Always check official sites before heading to an event.