Would you like to have tea ceremony with Maiko?
Many foreign tourists ask they would like to have tea ceremony with Maiko,
but I’d like to inform you it’s very RARE chance to have tea ceremony with them.
Because the most professional person for tea ceremony is a tea master,
Maiko not always perform it as their main job.
I know there is a tea ceremony house called “Maiko” in Kyoto city,
but hosts are not always maiko, but tea masters I guess.
It’s sometimes confusing but just a catchy title of the house.
By the way, Do you know who they are Maiko and Geiko?
Maiko is usually teenagers who are leaning to be a professional Geisha / Geiko.
Geiko or Geisha is the professional entertainer especially for business men, not women guests.
It’s true that they sometimes perform Japanese dancing on the stage of some special events women guests also get togather,
but their main customer is men for sure.
Maiko learns Japanese dancing, playing shamisen (a kind of Japanese guitar) , and tea ceremony before being a Geisha.
You might be able to find a chance to have tea ceremony with them,
but if you’d like to learn more from a licensed tea master,
it’s better to ask the tea master of Urasenke school or, Omotesenke or Mushanokoji senke.
Tea Masters are not Maiko.
As you can compare the difference between the top picture and this ↑,
the appearance are completely different.
Maiko has white painted face and they wear more pretty hair decorations and kimono,
while tea master has ordinary face with simple kimono.
Actually, plain kimono or just a little painting kimono are more suitable for formal tea ceremony
because tea utensils are most important in a tea room.
Many of my foreign guests often ask “Are you a Geisha? or Maiko?” but I’m not.
I’m a tea master of Urasenke school.
And tea master were only men at the begging of the history.
Many Japanese women started to learning around Meiji period, 150 years ago.
So tea master can be a man, while Maiko and Geisha are women for sure.
Tea House ? Chaya? Tea Ceremony house?
Some foreigners asks me why there is no maiko here in Tea Ceremony KOTO?
They think here is “Chaya”, where Maiko lives,
but of course Tea Ceremony KOTO is the place for tea ceremony, not for Maiko!
This misunderstanding comes from confusing translation from Japanese to English.
“Ochaya” is the house where Maiko and Geisha lives and Ocha is translated to “tea”.
So it’s called “tea house” in English, but it doesn’t mean the house people can get together for tea ceremony.
On the other hand, the place people can have tea ceremony is also called “tea house” sometimes.
But we don’t call it Ochaya in Japanese. We call it “Ochasitsu” in Japanese. “tea ceremony room” in English.
I’m happy if you remember Maiko and a tea master are completely different.
I’m really sad some foreigners cancel their reservation when they know here is no maiko in Tea Ceremony KOTO,
but I’d like to inform you almost all Japanese try to find a tea master, not maiko when they’d like to learn tea ceremony.