1. Maiko Makeover in Kyoto, Japan

    One of the best things I did when travelling in Japan was to get a Maiko makeover in Kyoto. I was quite apprehensive about how the photos would turn out but I was thrilled with the results. I visited the Yumekoubou Studio which has a good English website and that allowed me to book my appointment by email ahead of time. I went to their studio by Kyoto Station as all I wanted was the photoshoot – their other studios allow you to walk outside whilst dressed up.

    To get to their Kyotoekimae studio you need to turn right out of the Kyoto Station Hachijo exit (the side the Shinkansen tracks are) and walk for about five minutes. The Yumekoubou studio is on the right next to the Toyota office.

    During the make-up application it was a shock to open your eyes to see the white face and bright red lips looking back at you in the mirror. They bring you a folder showing all the kimonos they have when you arrive – be aware though as a Westerner, you will only a very limited selection to choose from due to normally being taller than our Japanese counterparts. There were so many layers of clothing that even in an air-conditioned studio I felt hot – there was no way I would have survived walking outside in the summer heat!

    In the studio you are told how to pose and where to look whilst a series of twenty photos are taken by a professional photographer. You are then free to take as many photos as you like with your own camera and phone – the staff will even take some photos for you. They will help you to remove all the make-up afterwards however I would recommend taking your own toiletries with you as well – I just wanted to wash and moisturise my face properly afterwards with my own products due to the amount of make-up I had been wearing.

    You are then presented with a contact sheet of your twenty photos and a postcard version with the photographers choice of their favourite photo. I also had all my photos given to me on a CD which I could then print myself back in the UK. They usually charge extra for the CD but they include it in the package for foreign tourists instead of the prints which would have to be posted to you on a later date.

    If you ever have the opportunity to visit Kyoto then do this – it is an experience you will not forget!


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    2 thoughts on “Maiko Makeover in Kyoto, Japan

    1. Anonymous

      This is amazing! I wish I knew about this while I was in Japan. I can’t wait to go back so I can do this!


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