Studio ESPERANTO Transforms Customers into Glamorous Oiran!

Studio ESPERANTO Transforms Customers into Glamorous Oiran!
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Japan is an excellent place to go sightseeing, with wonderful tourist spots, restaurants and shops to be found pretty much everywhere you go. In fact, there’s so much choice, it’s sometimes hard to know where to begin. Of course, you could always check a guidebook to find out about popular spots, but wouldn’t it be so much better to get recommendations from people who actually live in the area? Well, Tokyo Girls’ Update is here to introduce you to some of the Kyoto spots that women studying at universities in the area highly recommend!

Meet Haruka Kuroki, a second-year music student at Kobe College. She’ll be your guide as we discover an amazing hidden tourist gem on the autumn streets of Kyoto.

Welcome to Studio ESPERANTO, where visitors can experience becoming an “Oiran” courtesan for the day! The studio is located close to Heian Shrine, and is accessible by walking for around 10 minutes from Exit 1 of Higashiyama station on the Kyoto Municipal Subway’s Tozai line.

So, what exactly is an “Oiran”?

Oiran were courtesans in Japan.The Oiran were considered a type of yūjo (遊女) “woman of pleasure”. However, they are distinguished from ordinary yūjo in that they were entertainers, and many became celebrities outside the pleasure districts. Their art and fashions often set trends and, because of this, cultural aspects of Oiran traditions continue to be preserved to this day. (via Wikipedia)

Studio ESPERANTO caters to women who wish to experience becoming an Oiran for the day. Here’s Haruka heading inside!

First things first: Haruka is handed an iPad!

The assistant invites her to select the “uchikake” (a coat that goes over the kimono) that she likes best from 20 available patterns and colors.

Haruka: There’s so much choice… which one should I pick?

Eventually, Haruka decides on this bright red uchikake.

Her decision made, Haruka heads to the locker room to change into a hadagi (a light undergarment intended to be worn under a kimono).
img-kyoto-esperanto-oiran-09 img-kyoto-esperanto-oiran-10

Then it’s off to the Makeup Room!

The stylist begins by setting Haruka’s hair into the Oiran style.

The hairstyle looks like a disc from the back!
This is known as the “Mage” hairpiece.

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Address : Kokoro Okazaki Building, 53-37 Awataguchi Toriimachi Sakyo-ku
Nearest Station : Higashiyama Station
TEL : 075-754-0770



Been working in girls’ fashion magazines for a long time and am now the chief editor of Tokyo Girls’ Update. I have more expertise in Japanese teen fashion than anyone else (probably)! I’m a huge fan of the Revolutionary Girl Utena and Bakemonogatari animes.

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