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How to Enjoy Sake with Geisha: Understanding What is a Geisha Banquet

How to Enjoy Sake with Geisha: Understanding What is a Geisha Banquet?

What is a Geisha Banquet? Enjoy Sake with Geisha to Understand the Manners

Today, we will share how to enjoy sake with Geisha at a Ryotei or restaurants (such as Shimakin or Torijaya). Understanding this is very important to know what a Geisha banquet is.

First and foremost, Geisha do not eat in front of guests. However, it is common for Geisha to drink alcohol during banquets.

How to Enjoy Sake with Geisha: Understanding What is a Geisha Banquet?

The Basic Etiquette at a Geisha Banquet

The basic etiquette is that Geisha pour sake for the guests, and it is considered bad manners for guests to pour their own sake. In this way, Geisha pour sake for you, and in return, you can offer them a drink by saying, "Would you like some sake?" This makes the conversation more lively. Additionally, when a Geisha is performing, it is customary to put down your chopsticks and refrain from eating or drinking to enjoy the performance fully.

When is the Best Timing to Offer Sake to Geisha?

So, when is the best timing to offer sake to Geisha? The optimal time is after the Geisha has performed a dance (known as "Ozashiki wo Tsukeru"). After their performance, the Geisha will sit next to the guests. At this point, you can compliment them by saying, "Your dance was wonderful," or "Your shamisen playing was excellent," and then offer them a drink, such as, "Would you like a beer?" The guests should pour a beer for the Geisha, as Geisha never pour beer for themselves. If you are drinking sake, you can offer sake instead of beer.

Another suitable time to offer sake to Geisha is right after they enter the room. Although they will not drink much before their performance, offering them a drink as a greeting can set a positive tone for the banquet. Saying, "I look forward to today. How about a drink (beer) as a greeting?" will please the Geisha and enhance their service throughout the banquet.

Please note that any sake you offer to the Geisha will be charged to your bill. Geisha does not drink large amounts of alcohol, so these costs are considered part of the banquet fee.

How to Enjoy Sake with Geisha: Understanding What is a Geisha Banquet?

The Unique Aspects of Japanese Culture

Outside of Japan, it is rare for guests to pour drinks for their entertainers. However, in Japan, the reciprocal act of pouring drinks between guests and Geisha helps to create a lively atmosphere at the banquet. Don’t you think this kind of equal and mutual interaction is charming? It is one of the unique aspects of Japanese culture. Please enjoy the experience of a banquet with Geisha at a Ryotei.

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How to Access Kagurazaka

The Kagurazaka area is conveniently located within 30 minutes from any major station in Tokyo. This is because Kagurazaka is situated in the heart of Tokyo, at the center of the Yamanote Line. Please come and visit this convenient and charming Kagurazaka.


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