30 June 2011

Ginkakuji green, rainy season

Ginkakuji, garden
Kyoto 2011

The rainy season offers stunning variation of bright green in all Kyoto temples and gardens. This is Togudo pavillon inside Ginkakuji temple, always a popular stop along the path of philosophy.

29 June 2011

Obi festival

Maiko from Gion Higashi
 Kyoto 2011

 After gokagai, all Maiko went straight back to their Okiya to get ready to work in the evening. I was trying to get a front shot. But they walked so quickly that I could only get this colorful one.

19 June 2011

Maiko Fukuho and Kofuku at Gokagai

 Maiko Fukuho
Kyoto 2011 

No wonder that she caught everyone's attention in the very dark Kyoto kaikan entrance.

Mieko and Kofuku
Kyoto 2011

Wonderful to see them laughing like this.

18 June 2011

Miyako no Nigiwai : Gokagai

Was it all an illusion ?
 Kyoto 2011

"Miyako no Nigiwai" is a brilliant idea to gather all five Kagai for a joint dance performance.
The Gokagai (5 kagai, Maiko districts, literally flower street) usually organize their own performance separately. Miyako no Nigiwai is therefore a unique chance to see all of them together. It takes place every year on the 3rd week-end of June. People no longer call this event "Miyako no Nigiwai" but simply "Gokagai".

I was a bit too far to take good shots but the above picture gives a good overview of this fantastic show. This is the final dance when all Geiko and Maiko greet the audience.

As usual, it is as interesting to watch inside as outside. The show is amazing but outside it is also wonderful to see other Geiko and Maiko who come to attend the performance with their guests.

 Geiko Sayaka, portrait
 Kyoto 2011

I had not seen Sayaka san since her Erikae. She kindly posed for this portrait. She looks fantastic. I like how she draw the red on her eyes.

Geiko Katsuyuki, portrait
Kyoto 2011

Among the recent Geiko, Katsuyuki san looks stunning too. I had not seen her as a Geiko yet. She was still a Maiko when I took the following pictures. This was only half a year ago but it seems an eternity.

11 June 2011

Maiko Makino, Hojyoe

Maiko Makino, lips
Kyoto 2011

Hojyoe is a ceremony held on Tatsumi-bashi in Gion to encourage people to live in harmony with the environment (It was not allowed to take pictures of the religious ceremony).
2000 goldfish are released in the river from Tatsumi Bridge to symbolize this harmony. Maiko Makino and Masaki were the first participants to free the goldfish.
I could shoot this very close portrait series during the few minutes they spent on this tiny bridge. I especially like the one above where you can admire the perfection of the red line on her lips.

Maiko Makino, Masaki
Kyoto 2011

5 June 2011

Geiko Kosen, Erikae

Geiko Kosen, Erikae
Kyoto 2011

Another wonderful day in Gion. But you had to be at 2 places at the same time. One was Hojyoe at Tatsumibashi, a ceremony where Maiko Makino and Masaki released some goldfish in the river (I will post some photos later). And the other one was Maiko Kosen's Erikae, the ceremony where she became a Geiko. So I missed the beginning but I could join the crowd later on.

Congratulations to Kosen san for her erikae.

It's quite unusual but her Erikae took place on a Sunday. I felt a bit sorry for her because it was more crowded than usual and many Ochaya were closed. But anyway, she looks stunning as a Geiko and I hope she enjoyed her special day.

Geiko Kosen, portrait
Kyoto 2011

4 June 2011

Maiko Katsune, rare portraits

 Maiko Katsune, portrait
Kyoto 2011 

This is Maiko Katsune from Kamishichiken.

As you can see on the make up on her lips, she is still on her first year as a Maiko.

Pictures of her are still rare, so enjoy!

Really glad I finally got the chance to make some portraits. The above picture was shot at the Handicraft museum. She was quite nervous in one of her still rare public appearance. On the below one, she already felt better and I am of course so grateful to her for this lovely portrait.


Maiko Katsune, smile
 Kyoto 2011