There is sometimes a little confusion about Maiko and Geisha, so here are some of the key points.
“Maiko” is the name for a trainee Geisha. She becomes a fully-fledged Geisha (or “Geiko”) upon reaching the age of twenty. “Geiko” is the alternative name for Geisha in Kyoto and Osaka.
Some people incorrectly believe that the Maiko is a form of prostitute, though thankfully this misconception is starting to disappear now.
They are very popular among Japanese due to their charming appearance and appealing persona. Some play the Shamisen (a Japanese stringed instrument) as part of the repertoire, while others (named “Jikata”) actively specialize in musical performance. Their main role is to boost the party mood with traditional dance performances and the serving of sake. It is a proud and long-cherished custom.
You can request Maiko, Geiko and Jikata over for dinner and they will entertain you while you eat. There are, however, a couple of rules to bear in mind. Reservations are available between 6:00pm and 8:00pm. The number of Maiko, Geiko and Jikata you request has to be more than two, but the combination is up to you. We recommend including a Jikata. One will be sufficient for a group. Another important rule to remember is that if you make a reservation, there will be a charge in the event of a cancellation. A 100% cancellation charge is common, so please think carefully before making a reservation.