Geiko Nowadays if you long to experience geisha culture, you must head to the cultural capital of Kyoto. Under a hundred geisha remain in the city, living and working in the traditional teahouses as they always have done. The inevitable declining numbers due to the strict and secular world make this profession as elite and enigmatic as it always has been.
The modern geiko (Kyoto term for geisha) starts her life in the Kyoto okiya (geisha house) these days around the age of 15, although traditionally it was much younger. After learning skills in hospitality and traditional arts, she will go on to become a maiko - an apprentice geiko. Geisha is Japanese for "person of art."