As most countries around the world, Japan has all but shot down for the time being. But before all that, EYExplore went on one last big adventure before we joined the travel industry in hibernation. We went all went down to Kyoto, photographed a geisha, and documented it all on video. And so, we are happy to present a geisha photo shoot in Kyoto on our channel!
It was a true adventure—Charles drove us all down in his van, Paul and I (Lukasz) worked the shoot, Sean filmed it all, and Axel interpreted for us and the lovely maiko, Masanao, who was truly the star of the show. It was an amazing team effort and we are proud that we pulled it off the way we did.
To save on cost, we drove down from Tokyo to Kyoto, about 500km away, and to avoid staying there overnight we planned to do it all one day. Charles picked us up around 5am and we spent the next 6 hours on the highway down to Kyoto. After a quick lunch at a truck stop, we met Paul, who lives in Kyoto, in front of Chionsha. The house, situated in the heart of Kyoto, is over 100 hundred years old and has a storied history. It belongs to a man named Kichiemon-san, whose ancestry can be traced back to the time of samurai. This was going to be the stage for our shoot.
Behind the Mask
Meet an elusive geisha before she dons her mask, then capture her splendor in the Kyoto evening light.
Around 1pm, our incredible subject arrived—the maiko Masanao. First she granted us an interview during which we asked her some questions about her life as a geisha. Afterward, we did a 2-hour photo and video shoot. I was amazed at how quickly it flew by, but even more impressed with how much I personally benefited from Paul’s coaching. I consider myself a seasoned photographer, and it was not my first time photographing a geisha, but having Paul hovering over my shoulder and giving me pointers, reminders, and suggestions was invaluable! The experience showed me how much value we actually provide our clients on these photo workshops.
Masanao-san left us around 3pm and we wrapped up our shoot shortly after, grabbed a quick dinner, bidding farewell to Paul, and drove back Tokyo. On the drive we were all in high spirits even as we knew the travel industry would most likely vanish from the face of the earth in the coming weeks (at least for the foreseeable future). But when the travelers come back to Japan seeking adventure, we will be here, ready to challenge your eye!