How to Book Maiko Dance in Kyoto and How to get there - Maiko dance event list

Maiko Geisha dance events in Kyoto

Miyako no Nigiwai Special event

Maiko practice for the dance event in Kyoto Source: Takuya Yoshino
Maiko practice for the dance event in Kyoto Source: Takuya Yoshino

This article explains you about the details of the biggest dance event - Miyako no Nigiwai and other major dance stage events such as Miyako odori in Kyoto (location, traffic, how to book, ticket price and all).


Many of these events are quite popular thus please pay attention to the details and also try to get the latest information (if you are reading this after 2018!).


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Miyako no Nigiwai - Biggest Maiko dance event in Kyoto

Maiko/Geiko performance taking place on 24 and 25 June, 2017 in Kyoto, which is a collaboration and the biggest event of Maikos from 5 major Maiko/Geiko districts in Kyoto (which we address in a later section below).


It is called " Miyako no Nigiwai (都の賑い in Japanese)".  For this event, 20 Maiko carried the first practice for this event on 2nd of June for 2016. The practice shall begin around the same time 2017 too. 


The event boasts as many as 80 Maiko and Geiko on stage dancing and playing Japanese traditional musics based on the seasonal flower.


It is 24th time since its establishment.


The venue is at Shunju-za of Kyoto Art Theater (details below)

 (Note: Please be careful not to go to the wrong places such as the usual venue, Minami-za theatre till 2015. And the 2016 venue, Kobu Kaburen-jo. )


Ticket sale starts on 21st of March, 2017 


Date: 24 and 25 June, 2017

Price: 6000JPY seat, 8000JPY seat and 13000JPY seat depending on the type

Time: 11:00am and 14:30

Location:  Shunju-za of Kyoto Art Theater (" 京都芸術劇場 春秋座 Kyoto Geijutsu Gekijo Shuju-za " it is in the Kyoto university of Art and Design)

Address: 2-116 Kitashirakawa Uryūzanchō, Sakyō-ku, Kyōto-shi, Kyōto-fu 606-8271

Contact: +81 75 561 3901

Location for Miyako no nigiwai

You take at JR Kyoto station, the city bus No. 3 toward Kitashirakawa Kamihatecho ( 市バス上終町3系統/上終町京都造形芸術大学行 ). Get off at Kamihatecho-Kyoto-zokei-geidai mae (上終町京都造形芸大前 in JP). It is around 15 min bus ride then you walk around 10 mins.

After party dinner events - Dinner of Gokagai

After the dance events, this year will see the dinner events with Maiko and Geisha over dinner.


Event name: 五花街の夕べ / Gokagai no Yube/Dinner of Gokagai


24th of June 18:30-20:30

38,000 JPY per person

Venue: Hyotei, Kikunoi, Okazaki Tsuruya, Hiiragiya, Sumiya (all of which are notable old restaurants and ryokans in Kyoto)


25th of June 18:30-20:30

20,000 JPY per person

Venue: Westin Miyako Hotel Kyoto (book it at its best rate!)

Even if you could not get this special event ticket, there are several other Maiko and Geisha dance event as Miyao Odori and Kyo Odori etc. as below.

Five major Maiko areas in Kyoto

There are 5 major Maiko/Geisha districts in Kyoto. Each area has an organization which arranges the Maiko dance events more or less two occasions (in spring and autumn) every year.


These five district organizations and the major annual dance events are as below:


1. Gion-kobu (祇園甲部)

The "Gion" district. Around Yasaka Jinja shrine

Dance style: Inoue-ryu


Annual dance Event

Spring: Miyako Odori 都をどり (details in the next section)

Autumn: Onshukai 温習会

Official website

TEL: + 81 75 561-1115

2. Miyagawa-cho (宮川町)

East side of Kamo river between Shijo and Gojo.

Dance style: Wakayagi-ryu


Annual dance Event

Spring: Kyo Odori 京おどり (details in the next section)

Autumn: Mizue-kai みずゑ会

Official website

TEL: + 81 75 561-1154

3. Ponto-cho (先斗町)

The area surrounede by Kamo river, Kiyamachi, Sanjo and Shijo.

Dance style: Onoe-ryu


Annual dance Event

Spring: Kamogawa Odori 鴨川をどり (details in the next section)

Autumn: Suimei-kai 水明会

Official website


TEL: + 81 75221-2025

4. Kami-shichi (上七軒)

Around Kitano-tenmangu shrine

Dance style: Hanayagi-ryu


Annual dance Event

Spring: Kitano Odori 北野をどり (details in the next section)

Autumn: Kotobuki-kai 寿会

Official website


TEL: + 81 75 461-0148

5. Gion-higashi (祇園東)

Used to be part of Gion-Kobu. The north part of Gion Kobu slit to be Gion Higashi in 1881. Around Yasaka area.

Dance style: Fujima-ryu


Annual dance Event

Autumn: Gion odori 祇園をどり(No spring show except for Miyako no Nigiwai. Details in the next section)

Official website


TEL: + 81 75 561-0224

List of Maiko/Geisha dance events

So these five districts have their own Maiko/Geiko dance stages. Let us go through more details one by one as follows.

Miyako Odori Dance

Old Miyako Odori brochure  Source: Miyako Odori official website
Old Miyako Odori brochure Source: Miyako Odori official website
Old Miyako Odori event photo Source: Miyako Odori official website
Old Miyako Odori event photo Source: Miyako Odori official website

Miyako Odori


The theater also serves as the event venue for "Miyako Odori dance performance" for April every year. 

Miyako Odori event started in 1872. When the capital of Japan moved from Kyoto to Tokyo, Kyoto locals wanted to preserve the Kyoto culture and started this event as a part of effort.


Time: 1st of April Sat - 23rd of April Sun (except for 10th and 17th of April), 2017

Ticket price: 3500JPY and 4600JPY (with tea ticket)


3 shows a day (45 mins each)

each show starts at 13:00, 14:45 and 16:30


Location: Shunju-za of Kyoto Art Theater (" 京都芸術劇場 春秋座 Kyoto Geijutsu Gekijo Shuju-za " it is in the Kyoto university of Art and Design) Their traditional theater is under renovation.  

See the seat arrangement (in Japanese)


How to book (ticket sale started as of Feb, 2017)

There are two ways:

From web: You can book the ticket from this official website. 


Call:  +81 75 541 3391 (10:00AM- 17:00 JST)

Location For Miyako Odori

Check the direction mentioned above in the Miyako no Nigiwai section

Kyo Odori

Miyako odori  Source: Wikipedia
Miyako odori Source: Wikipedia

Kyo Odori Maiko dance event


The great Maiko Geiko dance taking place at Miyagawa Kaburen jo in Shijo


Time: Certain period of Every April

e.g. 1st Sat - 16th Sun of April, 2017

3 shows a day (around 60 min each)


First seat 4200JPY or 4800JPY with tea ticket

Second seat 2200JPY or 2800JPY with  tea ticket


How to book Kyo Odori

There are three ways

1) Call up

Tel. + 81 75-708-2306


The contact window open only during certain time in March

e.g. 15th-24th of March, in 2017

10:30AM-16:30 JST on weekday

You need bank transfer within 4 days after the application

You will receive the temporal ticket by post

2) Online

You fill in the form and you will receive a temporal ticket in PDF which you need to print out and bring to the theater. (as of Feb, 2017, not working)


3) Through travel agencies

Just talk to Japanese travel agencies like JTBKNTH.I.S.

From 2nd Feb, 2017 the sales started.

Location For Kyo Odori

Walk for 15 mins from Gion Shijo station (Keihan Line) or walk for 20 mins from Kawaramachi station of Hankyu line

Kamogawa Odori

Kamogawa Odori


This dance event started in 1872 (Meiji 5). The event consists of two parts: 1. stage theatre (story) and 2. dance show. The event period is one of the longest.


Show runs 3 times a day


Time: 1st of May-24th of May, 2017


4800JPY, 4200JPY and 2300JPY depending on type of seat


How to book 


There are two ways

1) Call up (Sale start: 3rd of April, 2017)

Tel. + 81 75-221‐2025

After call, you need bank transfer

You will receive the temporal ticket by post

You bring the temporal ticket to the theatre and get the official ticket (the window opens one hour before the show).


2) Through travel agencies (Sale start: 10th of Jan, 2017)

Just talk to Japanese travel agencies like JTB, KNT, H.I.S.


Alternatively, you can also buy the ticket on the day of the show. (But the ticket sells out quickly.) The ticket sale starts at 10:00AM before the show.


For details, check the website of Pontocho

Location for Kamogawa odori

Walk for 5 mins from Sanjo Keihan line station or Sanjo Tozai subway line station

Kitano Odori

Dancers of Kamishichiken did a parody of PPAP, Pen-Geiko-Maiko-Pen.

Kitano Odori


Started in 1952. Usually last for 14 days from March till April. It signals the start of spring season in Kyoto. 


Very close (3 min walk) to Kitano Tenmangu shrine (from JR Kyoto station, you take bus no. 50 or 101, then get off at Kitanotenmangu mae or Kamishichiken)


Time: 25th of March-7th of April, 2017


4800JPY, 4300JPY depending on type of seat 


How to book 

There are two ways

1) Fax

Print out and fill in then send this pdf form to  (application deadline by 10th of March, 2017)

Tel. + 81 75 461 0149

After the acceptance, you transfer money by bank within 7 days. After the payment, you will get the temporal ticket which you get the official one on the day of show at their theater.


2) Web format (only for Japan domestic application)

Apply from here


Gion Odori

Gion Odori poster 2016 Source: Gion Higashi
Gion Odori poster 2016 Source: Gion Higashi

Gion odori


Location: Gion Kaikan (close to Yasaka shrine)

Time: 1st of Nov - 10th of Nov (2016, no info for 2017 yet)

Price: 4500JPY and 4000JPY depending on the type of seat (2016, no info for 2017 yet)


How to book

Ticket sale starts on 27th Oct at Gion-Kaikan (11:00AM-16:00) (2016, no info for 2017 yet)


Walk for 30 mins from Gion Shijo station of Keihan line. There are usually big crowd in the Shijo street toward Yasaka shrine which slows you down.

2013 Miyako Odori footage

How to meet Geisha/Maiko in Tokyo or in your country?

More articles for you to enjoy:


There are traditional Maiko/geisha houses - Okiya - offering an occasion where you can enjoy the time with real Maiko and Geisha.


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Source: Miyako Odori official page, Yomiuri News, Sankei News, each Maiko district official page


Disclaimer: Even though we try to make the info as updated and accurate but the accuracy of the information herein is not guaranteed by us. If you have any uncertainty, please contact the information source.

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