Geisha have an interesting perception in history. People think of them as earlier versions of courtesans, but the geisha profession began in the 1750-60′s as an occupation and were actually prohibited from sexual acts. Otherwise they would have been competition to the already existing prostitutes. Geisha were (and still are) entertainers.
Geisha has their origins in Kyoto where the imperial court was located. They do exist in other parts of Japan but, Kyoto is where you will find the largest population. They mainly live in the Gion District and many tourists camp out in the early evenings hoping to catch one heading to a teahouse to work.
I came upon these two geisha by accident early one morning when they were out making their rounds. They visit local businesses and share offerings of thanks for their patronage. A local resident bowed to these two women and asked if she could take a photo. I took the opportunity to do the same and they graciously accepted.
It was a magical moment. They were unstressed and unhurried by tourists playing paparazzi and I felt blessed to have been allowed to take their photo!