We booked a Maiko Transform experience at Studio Shiki a week and a half before we went to Kyoto.  The shop is located between Kodaiji temple and Kiyomizu temple, but it’s best to park at Kodaiji temple and walk there because it’s cheaper and closer.


After we parked at the Kodaiji-temple parking lot, we walked down  the street following the navigation directions on our phone and it took us to the back entrance.  If this happens to you, just walk on the small street on your right hand, then turn left and walk up hill for about two minutes and you will see the front door on your left.meiko

There were many packages to choose from, and we choose the 4,900 yen plan.  With it, you get 6 photos (size 4×6, I think) with a white background.  You also get 10 minutes of free time to take pictures at the back door of the studio.  meiko3

As soon as you walk in, go to the counter.  The staff here speaks enough English, so you don’t have to worry.  They’ll give you paper to write your name, address, and phone number. When you give them that paper back, they will ask you if you have anyone else with you and show you the additional options in case you want more pictures or anything else.

meiko2After that,  you will receive a wrist band with a locker key and a number clip to clip on you shoes before continuing up the deep, narrow stairs to third floor.  When we got to the third floor, we changed into to the light white cover that they gave us and put everything else in locker.   After that, we moved down to the second floor for make-up and kimono dressing.


We waited about 10-15 minutes before they called us in to do make-up and hair.  There are 2 options for hair: full wig or half wig.  The half wig one would make your hair look more natural but it would cost 2000 yen more so we decided to just use the full wig.  The wig is really tight and heavy, so be prepared for that.  After they finished with make-up, we picked out the kimonos then went to the kimono room where the staff waited to dress us.  The kimonos are adjusted to be tight fitting.  Remember to not eat too much right before your session, but enough so you don’t starve either.  The whole process took us 3 hours.


Photos are not allowed inside the studio, but you can take your own pictures outside.  Before you leave the locker room to go to the second floor, make sure you have your camera and phone!

meiko7There’re so many Maiko transformation studios around the area, but we chose Studio Shiki because it looked nice and offered services in many languages. 

Name:  Maiko Transformation Studio Shiki

Location:  Kyoto

Address:  351-16 Masuya-cho,Kodaiji Minamimon,Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto-shi

Cost:  Depending on the package and extra add-ons.  You must also purchase socks for 390 yen.

American sizes: Yes

Time: At least 3 hours.


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