Early the next morning, we were headed off to Maica, a costume shop that boasted a “special geisha dress up experience”. Normally, I wouldn’t be into something so touristy, but for this trip, I felt like all bets were off. So many of my friends had said how much fun they’d had doing the same thing, and I felt like it was worth a try, and if nothing else, would produce some entertaining photos.
I have to admit, it was pretty epic.
Carl was given a skull-cap with a wig placed loosely on top. He was offered make-up, but politely refused, and wore a light yukata, or summer kimono.
Transforming into a geisha can be a bit more involved. I was taken into a locker room and given a light robe and a shower cap, then asked to choose which kimono I wanted (each section of choices was marked by price plan).
Next step was makeup: a thick coat of white paint was applied liberally to my entire face and neck. As one friend pointed out, this was the step that made her feel like she had glaringly yellow teeth–perhaps this is why geishas always smile with a closed mouth?
After makeup came hair: a heavy wig was plopped on my head and somehow tied in place. My own blonde hair was scraped back with thick wax and made to cover the shape of the geisha style to create a natural look. Somehow, all said and done, it didn’t look half bad.
I met back with Carl and we took some photos together in the small front lobby of the shop. Per our plan, we were allotted an hour to take as many photos as we wanted; I didn’t think that wig would balance on my head for a full hour. We took a few pictures, then came into the professional photographer’s room, where we were posed in some interesting ways. My favorite: Carl holding a tight fist to show strength, while I bow my head and clutch a padded tissue box.
The classic tissue box pose, right?
We wandered out of the shop to a nearby temple, and one of the ladies at the shop helped me with my shoes.
After our temple walk, we returned to clean up (sooooo much white paint) and change. All in all, this was a super fun and entertaining way to make memories in Gion.