Gion (located in Kyoto) is one of the most exclusive and well-known geisha districts in Japan. You can meet there young women, who for fun change clothes to look geisha like and party. You can also meet professional geisha or geiko like those on the photo.
Geisha means an ‘art person’ literally. ‘Gei’ means ‘art’ in Japanese, and ‘sha’ means ‘a person’. In Japan, geisha is (at present) a woman, who entertains by dancing, singing, playing traditional Japanese instruments and through other ancient Japanese traditions like calligraphy and ikebana (Japanese art of flower arrangement).
A geisha wears a special kind of a kimono underlining her bare neck, and white powder oshiroi makeup. Her hairdressing is richly decorated with kanzashi like cockscombs and pins.
In Kyoto and in Kanazawa geisha is called ‘geiko’. A geisha apprentice is called ‘maiko’.