Hanamachi

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The geisha (geiko) hanamachi of Gion, in Kyoto, Japan.

A hanamachi (花街) is a Japanese word used to call a neighborhood where courtesans and geisha lived and worked. The word's literal meaning is "flower town". These neighborhoods used to have many okiya (geisha houses) and ochaya (tea houses, where geishas entertained guests). The term hanamachi is used in modern Japan to call the areas where modern-day geisha are still living and working. Today, hanamachi are rare outside of Kyoto.