The Enyu-kai for Matsu-No-Uchi Was Amazing!
A Japanese Fairy Tale Come to Life.
Hello everyone! I was invited to the geisha house, Kaikaro, at the beginning of January to see a performance,
or Enyu-kai. This was a special performance called Matsu-no-uchi which means “the first week of the new year.”Geisha houses are known for their strict admittance policy, but I was given the chance to enter
and I want to show you what’s going on inside the ocha-ya, or traditional tea house.

dustin_2813_cmyk.jpg

Can you feel the exotic atmosphere?
It’s astonishing that authentic geisha houses still exist!

Kaikaro is a registered historic building. Talk about ambiance! The traditional Japanese architecture remains perfectly preserved. I can only describe what I saw as “exotic!” I was led into the waiting room on the first floor and had a cup of Japanese tea with the other guests.
Even regular customers need a reservation, giving geisha houses a reputation as being highly conservative. They only entertain trustworthy individuals who can understand the value of their incredible performance. Regular customers don’t need their wallets—Talking about money is considered unsophisticated here.

dustin_2666_cmyk.jpg

Geiko in special long kimono.
It’s only for the New Year’s performance!

Let’s see what’s upstairs! I’m so excited to see real geiko perform. As soon as we took our seats, the female manager, or okami-san, appeared to give us a word of welcome and a new year’s greeting. Then the music started. One geiko beat on a Japanese hand drum called a tsuzumi; the other played a three-stringed Japanese banjo called a shamisen. The dual rhythms came together in perfect harmony for this limited-time act only performed during Matsu-no-uchi. Next, the other geiko appeared carrying beer. They were wearing special long kimono, also unique to New Year’s performances. They looked like they had stepped out of an old ukiyo-e woodblock print! The food was beautiful and I was impressed by the exquisite table setting!

Having fun conversation, watching great performances,
and playing drums with beautiful geiko.

dustin_0763_cmyk.jpg

Geiko served me Japanese sake and I returned the favor. As professional entertainers they naturally have a talent for conversation. To my surprise, one of them has lived in Texas and her English pronunciation was perfect! They showed us a dance with Japanese folding fans. Every movement was carefully choreographed. They were elegant butterflies in their fluttering kimono. Next, another geiko started to play Sanzai-daiko, which some call “rich man’s drums.” You’re paying a lot of money for this privilege!
The okami-san began to call on customers to try Sanzai-daiko with the geiko. Imagine my surprise when she came to me! What an honor! One of the geiko helped me roll up my sleeves with a sash. Actually, I play a few instruments and sometimes have jam sessions with my friends, so I was a natural!
No visit to Kanazawa is complete without experiencing an ocha-ya. Kaikaro holds Enyu-kai five times from now until November. You don’t need connections to enter the event and it’s not as expensive as you think.

dustin_2685_cmyk.jpg