*Editor's note (June 1, 2012): Katsura Studio will be closing its doors for good at the end of this month, so hurry in for your chance to see yourself as a Geisha or Samurai!
Ever felt like having a makeover? Well why not go all out and transform yourself into one of the many traditional Japanese icons! Usually, you would have to visit Kyoto for such a unique experience, but Tokyoites can rejoice as Katsura Studio is conveniently located near Harajuku Station.
We started the process by letting the studio know what kind of outfits we wanted to wear via the online booking system. There were nine different historical identities on offer--including Geishas, Maikos and the ever so loyal Samurai. We picked the former.
Once we arrived at the studio, the accommodating staff guided us to the changing rooms so we could slip into a white cotton yukata. Following that, our hair was tied up so the makeup artists could work their magic. First, they gently applied a special white makeup on our faces using a traditional flat bamboo brush.
After our faces were completely whitened, the artists drew on some charcoal colored eyebrows and eye liner. The final touch followed soon after with the application of some lusciously deep red lipstick.
With the makeup finished to perfection, it was time to wear the kimonos we had previously chosen. Wearing these very expensive and beautiful looking kimonos really made us feel special! However, you cannot become a true Geisha until you have their immaculately shaped jet-black hair. Luckily for us, the staff brought out pre-made wigs for us to wear.
We looked at each other in awe as we tried to come to terms with our complete transformation. After our pleasant surprise had settled, we chose three different poses for the photo shoot.
Once we finished the shoot, we were given about ten minutes to sit in their Japanese garden and absorb its beauty while the photographers were hard at work editing away. As proof of our amazing day out, we each received three framed photos as well as a laminated photo as a gift!
If you’re in need of a truly unique makeover, then look no further than Studio Katsura. You’ll be hard pressed to find an experience quite like this.
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Ares Garden Omotesando 3F 4-28-4 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku Tokyo 150-0001