Niigata's Murakami City: Enjoy Fun Events, Sightseeing, and Local Cuisine!

[Kobe City/Arima] You can watch Geisha dance! ``Geisha Cafe Ito'' is a casual place to enjoy in the Arima hot spring town.

This service includes sponsored advertisements.
article thumbnail image

Arima is the only place in Hyogo Prefecture where geisha culture remains. Geisha Cafe Ito is a place where you can experience the dances and tatami games of Arima geishas. When you hear the word ”Geisha”, you may think of it as being difficult to get into, but anyone can feel free to use ``Geisha Ca...

Latest update :

Arima Onsen is the only in Hyogo Prefecture where geisha culture remains

Photo provided by: “Geisha Cafe Ito”<br>
Photo provided by: “Geisha Cafe Ito”

Geishas began about 300 years ago during the Edo period. Around Yasaka Shrine in Kyoto, women called ``chakumi-onna'' performed songs and dances at teahouses called ``mizuchaya,'' which entertained people who came to worship at shrines and temples. It has reportedly spread.

At Arima Onsen, there was a ``Yuna'' who took care of hot spring guests, but that name was abolished after 1883 when the hot spring bathhouse was rebuilt into a Western-style building. It is said that she later became a geisha who performed songs and dances.

Photo provided by: “Geisha Cafe Ito”<br>
Photo provided by: “Geisha Cafe Ito”

By the way, Yuna has a long history, and the Yuna of Arima first appeared in historical records during the Muromachi period. It is said that during the Edo period, ukiyo-e prints of bath women were popular as souvenirs. Arima's geisha culture, which has a long history as a bathing woman, was recognized as a historical heritage by the city of Kobe for the first time.

What you need to know when talking about geisha culture is the existence of ``kenban'' and ``okiya.'' Geishas belong to okiya, and kenban is the group of okiya that was created. There used to be about 15 okiya in Arima, but the number of okiya decreased after the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake. All the geishas at ``Geisha Cafe Ichito'' belong to ``Arima Kenban'' and ``Tanaka Seki.''

Get closer to Geisha culture! ``Geisha Cafe Ito'' is a casual place to enjoy

Geisha Cafe Ito is located about a 5-minute walk from Arima Onsen Station on the Kobe Electric Railway Arima Line. It is located at the footpath next to the footbath of the day-trip hot spring "Kin-no-yu".

The first floor of Arima Kenban was renovated in 2015 with the idea that ``we want people to casually come into contact with Arima's geisha culture.'' It opened as a cafe bar with a permanent stage.

Inside “Geisha Cafe Ito”<br>
Inside “Geisha Cafe Ito”

True to its concept, it is popular among tourists as a place where you can casually enjoy the dances of active geishas and tatami games, which can be difficult to enter. It seems that there are many customers including women, families, and people from overseas who want to learn about Japanese culture.

The admission fee is 1,000 yen per person, with one drink (starting at 800 yen). Open only on Saturdays and Sundays, during the day from 11:00 to 15:00, and in the evening from 20:00 to 24:00 (by reservation only).

In addition to coffee and soft drinks, we also have an alcohol menu such as beer and highballs. They also have light meals such as zenzai, toast sets, and cheesecake sets (limited quantities), so we recommend stopping by for a break between sightseeing.

“Matcha and Japanese sweets set” (1,500 yen/limited quantity)<br>
“Matcha and Japanese sweets set” (1,500 yen/limited quantity)

The hospitality is provided by all active geishas. Another great feature is that the drinks and food you order will be served by the geishas. Apparently you can even get beer poured for you.

The photography fee is included in the price, so if you request, you can also have a commemorative photo taken with you.

When the time came, a geisha appeared on stage. First of all, They will start with an explanation about the history of geisha, kimono, wigs, hairpins, etc.

Geisha Kazuna (left) and Ichimari (right)<br>
Geisha Kazuna (left) and Ichimari (right)

As I listened to the explanations, I was constantly surprised by the many things I didn't know.

By the way, the wig weighs over 1kg! When I came up to the audience and was given the stand with the actual wig on it, it was very heavy and I could see the hardships that the geishas were going through.

There will also be a lecture on the types of hairpins and how to use them.<br>
There will also be a lecture on the types of hairpins and how to use them.

After the explanation, you can watch the dance performed by two geisha. You will be mesmerized by the graceful movements of her dancers, as she dances supplely down to her fingertips.

Let's enjoy an elegant time while enjoying tea and alcohol.

Plans you can choose according to your needs

Photo provided by: “Geisha Cafe Ito”<br>
Photo provided by: “Geisha Cafe Ito”

``Geisha Cafe Ito'' offers a variety of plans for those who want to enjoy Arima geisha dance even more.

For those who would like to enjoy dancing privately with a group, we recommend the ``[Private] Arima Odori Viewing Plan''. The trip takes approximately 60 minutes and includes watching the Arima Odori dance, playing in a tatami room, taking a commemorative photo, listening to a talk by a geisha, and a set of matcha tea and Japanese sweets.

[Private] Arima Odori Viewing Plan Location: Geisha Cafe Ito

Price: 1-5 people 50,000 yen, 6-10 people 70,000 yen,  15 people 90,000 yen, 20 people 120,000 yen

*Advance reservation required

Photo provided by: “Geisha Cafe Ito”<br>
Photo provided by: “Geisha Cafe Ito”

In addition, for those who want to enjoy Arima's nightlife, we also offer the ``Geisha Bar 90-minute All-You-Can-Drink Night Plan'' and the ``Reasonable Geisha Bar Night Plan.'' Advance reservations are required for each event, so if you are interested, please check the website.

Photo provided by: “Geisha Cafe Ito”<br>
Photo provided by: “Geisha Cafe Ito”

I want to become a geisha myself! If so, why not try the geisha experience? With this plan, a working geisha will help you get dressed and make up, and after you're done getting ready, you can enjoy a walk around the hot spring town and take photos.

Geisha experience location: Geisha Cafe Ito (Arima Kenban)

Price: 33,000 yen

Time required: Approximately 60 minutes for makeup and dressing. A total of around 2 hours to walk around and change clothes.

Many people have the impression that only special people can watch active geishas dance and play in the tatami room, but anyone can use Geisha Cafe Ito and experience geisha culture closer to home. It's a place where you can feel it. The geishas are also friendly and talk to you, so even if it's your first time visiting, you can use it without any hesitation.

It's a wonderful space where you can not only learn about the history and culture of Arima geishas, ​​but also enjoy their graceful dances and even take photos with them. This is a recommended shop for those who want to experience Arima Onsen's traditional arts.

(Writer Nakata/West Plan)

*This article is information as of May 2023. Prices include tax. Product contents and prices may change.

Basic Information

Geisha Cafe Ito

Address: 821 Arima-cho, Kita-ku, Kobe City, Hyogo Prefecture

Phone number: 078-904-0197

Business hours: 11:00-15:00, 20:00-24:00

*Reservations are required at night.Monday-Friday, holiday viewing fee: 1,000 yen

*One-order system *Includes seat fee and photo shooting fee

*Ozashiki play is available only when reserved.

Access: 5 minutes walk from Arima Onsen Station on the Kobe Electric Railway Arima Line

SNS: Instagram , HP

Written by

What are good things and good experiences? There are many characteristics such as having a story to tell, overflowing with the thoughts of the creator, having a history, and being loved by the locals. Have you ever come across a special thing or experience that made you want to tell someone about it? And as a result of telling, someone new leads to something. We think that's what "good" is all about. In order to deliver such encounters to our customers, we discover Hyogo's good things based on the concept of "talk, communicate, and connect", and provide information that will shorten the emotional distance between customers and the region of Hyogo Prefecture.

The information presented in this article is based on the time it was written. Note that there may be changes in the merchandise, services, and prices that have occurred after this article was published. Please contact the facility or facilities in this article directly before visiting. Some of our articles contain affiliate links. We kindly ask our readers to exercise careful judgement when making a purchase or booking a service online.

The contents on this page may partially contain automatic translation.