Take this rare opportunity to see an authentic Maiko performance! After that, Maiko will serve you tea in Japanese Traditional Tea Ceremony. You will also have the chance to take a commemorative photo with 'Maiko'. (Maiko is a Geisha apprentice, a younger woman training in the arts of dancing and playing instruments). The tour also stops at the UNESCO world heritage sites, Fushimi Inari Shrine, Gion, and Arashiyama. There are convenient pickup locations from Kansai Airport, Osaka Umeda (Hearton Hotel Nishi-Umeda) or Osaka Namba (OCAT).
You will be picked up at either Kansai Airport (7:30 am), Umeda (8:40am) or Namba (9:00am) . Your first stop is Fushimi Inari Grand Shrine (around 10:00am.), you'll spend the time there for about an hour. The Fushimi Inari Shrine is the head shrine for some 30,000 Inari shrines all across Japan. It is especially famous for its seemingly endless 1,000 vermilion shrine torii (gates). Fushimi Inari was dedicated to the gods of agriculture, the deities were enrolled to ensure prosperity in business, a bountiful harvest and traffic safety. Next stop is Gion (around 11:50am.), you will have 3 hours in Gion for lunch, a stroll, and a chance to meet and get acquainted with Maiko or Geiko. Gion is Kyoto's most famous geisha district, it's filled with shops, restaurants, and ochaya (teahouses), where geiko and maiko entertain. 'Geiko' is a woman trained in the art of music, singing and dancing to entertain the guests (also known as Geisha in Tokyo). Maiko is a Geiko apprentice, a younger woman who is training in the arts. With this tour you'll be able to see Maiko performance and witness a Japanese Traditional Tea Ceremony whereas the Maiko will serve you the tea herself! You will also get the opportunity to take a commemorative photo with Maiko or Geiko. Lunch is all-you-can-eat Chanko-nabe, a delicious hot-pot eaten by Sumo wrestlers in large quantities to gain power. The soup is made with fish or chicken broth and ingredients such as meatballs, vegetables, Tofu, Mochi and udon are simmered in the soup. Afterward, you will head toward Arashiyama by Hankyuu Train (ticket included). Arashiyama district located in the Western part of Kyoto. This area becomes most attractive around early April and late November when the cherry blossoms bloom and fall color seasons usually peak. During the summer months, traditional cormorant fishing is practiced on the Hozu River for tourists to watch. One highly recommended spot is the Sagano Bamboo Forest. It is a pleasantly cool 100m long walkway that begins from the side of the world heritage Tenryuji Temple. After a day of seeing and experiencing Japanese culture, you will be dropped off at any of the following locations: Namba 'OCAT' (6:30 pm), or the Hearton Hotel Nishi-Umeda (6:45 pm). ※For guest departed from Kansai Airport, please inform the tour conductor where to dropped you off (Umeda or Namba).