Geisha Odori dance festivals through spring in Kyoto

Throughout the Gion area of Kyoto, special geisha dance shows are held in different locations at different periods. Those are not what you may expect from an unknowing foreign perspective. The dancing isn’t wild/sexy and you cannot participate beyond watching the traditional performance, which is the result of years of commitment and training. It is a true sight of live art from olden times. The performances last for a bit over an hour and are located in demi-thousand seats theaters.

Most of those places also offer some sort of Tea Ceremony which include a souvenir, for an additional 5$ or so, about 30 minutes before the performance begins.

In chronological order, further below are the dates per area holding those spectacles.

Dans le downtown Gion de Kyôto, durant le printemps, il y a des performances spéciales de danses par des groupes de geishas dans des théâtres. Ce ne sont pas des shows excitants ou sexy, ce sont purement des démonstrations artistiques traditionnelles professionnelles.

Il y a 4 locations, tous intérieurs et a durée limitée dans des théâtres d’environ 500 sièges. Les shows sont divisés entre 2 et 8 scènes pour un total environnant une heure. Il est aussi possible, pour la plupart d’entre eux, de payer un petit extra pour participer à une cérémonie de thé et d’en garder un souvenir.

Voici plus bas une liste chronologique de ces festivals avec info.

Kitano Odori

March 25 ~ April 07
The show is divided in 3 parts: a short story play, a set of dances, and the finale is their signature Kamishichiken Serenade.
13:30~ & 16:00~
Kamishichiken Kaburenjo “Kabukai” theater
43$ per person
+5$ tea event & souvenir

Kyo Odori

April 01 ~ April 16
The show is divided in 7 scenes, with the last one apparently being extra awesome.
12:30~ & 14:30~ & 16:30~
Miyagawacho Kaburenjo theater
22$ per person (2nd class seat)
42$ per person (1st class seat)
+6$ tea event & souvenir

Miyako Odori

April 01 ~ April 27
The show is divided in 8 scenes.
12:30~ & 14:30~ & 16:30~
Minamiza theater (Newly-renovated)
40$ per person (3F chair)
55$ per person (1F-2F tatami/chair)
+5$ audio guide (no Tea Ceremony)

Kamogawa Odori

May 01 ~ May 24
The show is divided in 2 parts: a playful dance drama, and a traditional dance called Odori Emaki.
12:30~ & 14:20~ & 16:10~
Pontocho Kaburenjo theater
23$ per person (regular seat)
42$ per person (special seat)
+6$ tea event & souvenir