Geisha can be considered quite an elusive creature in Japan that unless you are super lucky to see them in special events you could easily never see one. Luckily in Tokyo, the Asakusa Geisha group give free performances on certain Saturdays throughout the year with the aim to give tourists the opportunity to experience geisha culture.
During the half hour long experience, the geisha perform four traditional dances to songs that are related to Asakusa and are beautiful to listen to even when you don’t understand the words. There were three geisha performing and they were all beautiful and graceful to watch. The music is very traditional and is performed by a lady playing a shamisen and an older lady singing. After the dancing, a male geisha (called a taikomochi or a hokan) came out and did a bit of a comedy routine involving a parasol that had a life of its own. He was extremely entertaining and for some was probably more engaging than the geisha dancing.
After the dancing, there was a chance for some audience participation where seat numbers were drawn out of a hat for the chance to play a game with the geisha to win prizes. The game was very traditional with a stick on a string that you had to roll up the fastest. The final game was for any foreign tourists and was rock-paper-scissors against one of the geisha.
Tickets are limited for each performance to only 75 seated and 30 standing tickets. They are available to be collected from 10 am on the performance day at the Asakusa Culture Tourist Information Center. Tickets are free and there are two shows on each performance date from 13:00-13:30 and 14:30-15:00. The final performances for 2016 are on the 25th of June and the 2nd and 15th of July. It seems to be an annual event though with it being held at different times each year, so check out this website for further information!
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