Maikoya Osaka- Japan’s newest culture activity centre and the best thing to do in Osaka
Welcome to Maikoya Osaka. The host of Japan’s first geisha cafe and a unique cultural experience venue for travelers and residents alike. This is a building near Shinsaibashi, in the heart of the city yet far from the noisy crowds. It was constructed on a property where an actual geisha house stood until the mid-1980s. The moment you step into the building you travel back in time.
The Geisha Cafe is simple but unique with Geisha themed ukiyoes hanging on the walls and some memorobilia from the 80s. There are some tables just like any other cafe and tatami-style seats. A maiko in training greets the guests and serves them food or drinks. They call themselves Osaka Geisha which is quite different from Kyoto Geisha and Tokyo Geisha. The specialty of the cafe is green tea and golden flake ice cream. Once a day they serve Kobe beef sandwiches to only 4 people who reserve in advance.
3rd floor hosts a unique collection of beautiful kimonos and small models of temples and shrines. There are gorgeous Japanese style mirrors for make-up and spacious fitting rooms. The best part is the staff assists you with make-up, hair do and of course putting on the yukata or kimono. The backdrops are breathtaking and ideal for kimono photo shooting when you think it is hot or cold outside.
4th floor has 3 different themes. You walk on the tatami floor while feeling 3 distinct periods of Japanese history. On the very right side lays the tea ceremony room where a tokonoma and a traditional fusuma are beautifully displayed. There are 2 life sized samurais in the middle with four different war flags carrying the family crests of 4 different daimyo. On the left stand a beautiful uchikake along with the paintings depicting the Heian period and featuring ju-ni-hitoe. This floor is also used for various cultural activities such as calligraphy, furoshiki and ikebana.
5th floor is a traditional Japanese kitchen decorated by Meiji style wooden furniture and two adjustable tables. Visitors can cook Japanese style meals ranging from local celebrities like takoyaki and okonomiyaki to rolled sushi and wagashi. The kitchen also has cultural artifacts including the Hina Doll display and various kinds of kitchen items made out of bamboo sticks.
Whether you want to have a hands on cultural experience or learn more about Japanese culture Maikoya Osaka must be on your list.
Disclaimer: The building where Maikoya Osaka is located used to be a geisha house until the late 80’s; however, currently it is not a geisha house or Okiya. Maikoya Osaka is a cultural education facility. The geisha who are working at Maikoya are not people who lived in Okiya for years. Maikoya’s main focus is promoting Japanese crafts and arts and Maikoya certainly does not follow the code of Kyoto or Tokyo geisha houses or affiliated with any okiya or geisha association.