Transform into a geisha or samurai! 5 Photography Studios in Kyoto for Cosplay
Since you've come all the way to Japan, you should definitely take a photo in Japanese-style clothing as a souvenir of your trip. Here are 5 photography studios where you can take cosplay or transformation photos in Kyoto.
1. Photo Studio Monica
Photo Studio Monica, near Kodaiji, is a popular photo studio that's made news in Taiwan and South Korea.
You should definitely try their gorgeous, bewitching oiran (Edo period courtesan) transformation! The kimono available run through styles from modern to antique, and you can choose from over 100 variations. The staff are proficient at their jobs, so they can grant you the beautiful photo of your dreams after they do your hair, makeup, and help dress you. The photographer is also a professional. They'll guide your posing, so you can get a lovely photo even if it's your first time.
Oiran Experience Plan: 8,000 JPY (excl. tax)
Includes hair, makeup, dressing, photoshoot, 2 photos
Foreign language support:
English, Chinese, Korean menus available
English-speaking staff is always present, while Chinese-speaking staff is present irregularly.
ESPERANTO, Kyoto's biggest transformation studio, is near Nanzenji. What sets them apart from other photography studios is that this studio seems like a movie set, and you can also take photos in nearby areas that suit your situation.
Other than the luxurious and gorgeous Oiran experience, they also have the Kokohime plan where you can be photographed in a retro kimono. You can enjoy a Japanese-style experience a little bit out of the norm, including a unique outfit and hairstyle. The staff in charge of hair, makeup, and dressing are full of young people who are knowledgeable about trends. The very experienced photographer will guide you through poses, so you'll end up with a stunning photo.
Kokohime B: 17,500 JPY (excl. tax)
Including hair, makeup, dressing, photography, and 5 photos
Foreign language support:
English menu available
3. Yume Koubou Gion Branch
Yume Koubou has 5 branches throughout Kyoto. This is a photo studio where you can fully become a maiko (apprentice geisha) or geiko (geisha in the Kyoto dialect).
This studio is proud of its techniques for touching-up the photo. They do over 70 checks, from stray hairs on the wig to smoothing out lines beneath eyes, in the corners of the mouth, and on hands. They will give you a photo so good you'll want to show it to everyone! The Gion branch includes a plan where you can walk around the traditional Gion neighborhood as a maiko or geiko. They also have plans for children over 5 and men.
Price example: Maiko Studio Photography Plan: 9,500 JPY (excl. tax)
Includes hair, makeup, dressing, photography, 4 photos, and a photo card *Photo is for illustration purposes only.
4. Maiko Henshin Studio Shiki Main Branch
You can experience a maiko transformation experience at this branch near Ninenzaka, one of the streets leading to Kiyomizudera.
The different plans include studio photography only, studio photography and a walk outside, or an outdoors shoot. There are also plans where you can be photographed in various situations, such as in a courtyard, a tatami room, a tea room, or more. You receive your photos in a photo album! There is also a plan for men where they can become a cool samurai holding a sword. There are also plans for children between sizes 110-140cm.
Studio Photography Plan: 13,000 JPY (excl. tax)
Includes hair, makeup, dressing, photography, and 6 photos
*Photo is for illustration purposes
5. Toei Kyoto Studio Park Costume Photo Shop
Toei Kyoto Studio Park is a theme park where you can experience the world of jidaigeki (period dramas), and they have costume photo shop where you can enjoy wearing genuine outfits professionally created and used for jidaigeki movies and TV shows!
The outfits include princesses, maiko, Shinsengumi (shogunate police during the Edo period), ninjas, or more, totaling more than 40. You can have photographs taken in the studio or you can wear the outfits around the park and take self-photographs in front of sets actually used in jidaigeki! (May not be possible for all outfits and depends on the weather.)
Outfit (makeup, wig, and dressing included): starting at 8,500 JPY
Studio photography (including 1 photo): starting at 4,000 JPY
*You need to pay for admission into Toei Kyoto Studio Park (2,200 JPY for adults, 1,300 JPY for middle and high school aged children, 1,100 JPY for children)
*If you use the special entry for the Toei Kyoto Studio Park Costume Photo Shop you don't have to pay park admission, but in that case you cannot take a walk around the park.
Depending on the studio, there are many of transformation plans, including maiko, oiran, and even samurai! Pick a plan that suits your tastes and take a photo that you love!
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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