Travel & Adventure

The Last Geisha: Meet the Women Continuing the Ancient Profession

It's an early evening in August and a group of sweaty American tourists are peering through heavy wooden slats covering the window of an ochaya in Kyoto’s Gion district. Japan’s ancient former capital city is home to 132 of these traditional tea houses, which are deceptively named because ochaya customers don’t pay hundreds of dollars for an evening of tea service. They come to drink expensive sake, eat fine food and, above all, be entertained by maiko and geikowhat geisha are called in the local dialect.

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