The Kagai, or Hanamachi, literally translated as “Flower Town” is the term Kyoto people use for the districts where the geiko (geisha) and maiko (apprentice) practice the high-class arts that have made their beauty and refinement legendary the world over.

There are five Kagai in Kyoto: Gion Kobu, Miyagawa-Cho, Pontocho, Kamishichiken and Gion Higashi — these are known as Kyoto’s Gokagai.  

Winner of the National Dress photo contest on Photocrowd: https://www.photocrowd.com/contests/500-national-dress/entries/patosan/

“Executed with explicitly beautiful technique and a very tight square composition, I love this shot. The tight focus on the subject with the focus dropping away quickly adds to the composition around the subject matter. Add in the green detail, the sharpness of the focus on the eyes, mouth and a little highlight to the right of the hair makes this image of a geisha walking down the street a standout for me. A very aesthetic and simple portrait but one which beautifully captures the brief.”

Reviewed by Liam Bailey

Photo selected by N-Photo magazine (UK) for the Nikon Photographer of the year 2016 (NIK71.NPOTY2.pdf)