I bet a lot of you have been to Kyoto or want to go there some day.
As you might know Kyoto is famous for its traditional old houses, historical sites, tons of World Heritage tagged temples and shrines and … for geishas, of course.
The best place to get an idea of what the ancient times in Kyoto were like is without a doubt Gion. You might even be lucky enough to see a geisha or maiko there.
However, most of them are not real ones, but dressed up tourists. I did it as well!
In Gion, especially along the road up to the famous “Kiyomizudera” (清水寺), are a lot of souvenir shops and it’s hard to choose what to buy!
I’ve been to Kyoto a few times and bought far too much every single time!
In the photo above you see one of the things that I’m actually glad I bought!
Kyoto geisha dolls (aka Kyoto dolls) are quite famous.
The unique dolls are traditionally made with silk, wood and cloth that is layered in paper mache style.
Only the dolls in Kyoto are dressed in Nishijin kimono silk. However, those dolls are very expensive! :(
Don’t worry, there is a tourist version of the Kyoto geisha dolls as well.
They are much cheaper (usually around 1000-2000 yen / 10-20$US). In that case it’s not a silk kimono, of course. As you can see in the photo the dolls look still quite decent and make a great souvenir!
There are many different versions coming in different colors and postures with different accessories, so it’s really hard to choose only ONE!
If you don’t want to keep them for yourself they also make a good present for someone back home. Kyoto geisha dolls are a little tall (~20 cm), but not heavy (~180 g).
Random note: My Kyoto geisha doll has also a small sticker on the bottom where it says in “Engrish”:
“This product isn’t toy, only view!”