Extreme Beauty: The World’s Most Elusive Women

Joohee Cho

Kyoto, Japan - For over a thousand years, Kyoto has thrived as the cultural and imperial capital of Japan. Now a popular tourist destination, it is also the hometown of Japan’s mysterious geishas.

The word ‘geisha’ means a skilled artist highly trained in music, dance, and art of conversation. They were not paid to sell bodies; instead, geishas were considered beauty-obsessed elite.

The geisha culture rose to its peak in the 1750s and gradually disappeared before the Second World War. Now there are only 300 of them left in Kyoto entertaining at heavily expensive restaurants.

For average visitors even spotting one of those beautiful geishas is extremely difficult. But there are relatively new services that have become especially popular in recent years: geisha makeover.

Professional makeup artists and attendants transform visitors into a geisha complete with white foundation, wig and traditional kimono. The two full hours of applying makeup could be a bit too much to endure but the end result is well worth it.

Prices range from $100 to $2000 with optional services at an additional charge; for example, going out to the streets or taking rickshaw rides.

ABC News' Lee Alexander and Arthur Niemynski contributed to this episode.