For over a thousand years, Kyoto has thrived and was once the cultural and imperial capital of Japan. Now it’s a very popular tourist destination, it is also the hometown of Japan’s mysterious geishas.

The word ‘geisha’ means a skilled artist highly trained in music, dance, and art of conversation. They were not paid to sell bodies; instead, geishas were considered beauty-obsessed elite.

The geisha culture rose to its peak in the 1750s and gradually disappeared before the Second World War. Now there are only 300 of them left in Kyoto entertaining at heavily expensive restaurants.

For average visitors even spotting one of these traditional beauties can be extremely difficult. But there are relatively new services that have become especially popular in recent years: geisha makeover.

A shop where a professional makeup artists and attendants transform visitors into a geisha complete with white foundation, wig and traditional kimono. The two full hours of applying makeup could be a bit too much to endure but the end result is well worth it.

Prices range from $100 to $2000 with optional services at an additional charge; for example, going out to the streets or taking rickshaw rides.

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