Locations, Photojournalism, Portrait, Tokyo, Travel
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Mukojima, the Tokyo geisha town

Somewhere in the middle of Tokyo’s older quarter, near Asakusa but slightly too far from a subway station to make it easy to access, is the quiet district of Mukojima. Hidden in the nondescript grey and brown buildings are the homes, restaurants, and training houses for Tokyo’s geisha. Here it is not uncommon to see a fully garbed geisha or maiko quietly having coffee in the homely kissaten (cafes), or crossing the street to go from one interminable location to another – a sight that is typically thought to exist only in Kyoto. It’s an undiscovered part of Tokyo that has quietly come along through the ages without invasion from the eyes of tourists.

Here’s a few photos from a story I shot around the area, some of them are from the street, others are portraits of some of the subjects interviewed for the article. Hope you enjoy them!






  1. Hi Irwin,
    I enjoyed your images of the Mukojimo geisha and was wondering if you could direct me to the specific part of the area where they may be seen. I spent some time there today and after wandering around I did see a couple of geisha around Mukojima 5-chome 24. It was my first time in the area, so I was happy to see even one geisha, but if you could provide any insights I’d be most grateful. I especially liked your shots of the geisha in the cafe – it showed a nice human element to her personality.
    John Liddle

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