Kyoto,Osaka style traditional Japanese Dance lesson

Instructor - Umeaya Umemoto


Instructor - Umeaya Umemoto


Hello. This is Umeaya Umemoto.
Since I started Japanese dance, I have become confident in introducing Japanese traditional culture along with dance.

From the lyrics of the dance song, you can feel the customs of the time when it was created, the nature, history, and aesthetic sense of Japan.

I am practicing Umemoto-ryu.
It features elegant movements with restrained expression, a type of dance which consists of slow lower body movements and sliding feet.
So, from small children to adults, you can learn at your own pace and train your core muscles.

I also offer to learn how to dress in Kimonos in a manner traditional to Japanese etiquette and customs.

Choreography of this style’s classic masterpieces are complicated and difficult. Therefore, I am constantly improving my skills by practicing new dances.

Would you like to learn Mai together?

Profile of Instructor - Umeaya Umemoto

Performance experiences

New Year Dance Competition - sponsored by the Agency for Cultural Affairs and the Japan Dance Association, Kyo-no-kai, etc.

Professional Experiences

Since 2016, I hold a Japanese dance experience class for a group of youth in a youth development center in Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto.

-May 2016 Dance Experience Classes for Israeli Travelers
-November 2016 Private Lessons for Austrian Student
(An article was published by the Kyoto newspaper.)
-July 2020 Hotel Staff Guidance on Kimono Works
-April 2021 Hotel Staff Guidance on Kimono Works

Personal history

Born in 1970, I studied classical ballet from 7 to 14 years old.
After graduating from Temple University in Japan, I became a Geisha in Miyagawa-cho, Kyoto, for about 10 years. (Miyagawa-cho is one of the five hanamachi Geisha districts in Kyoto.)

After retirement due to marriage, I restarted Japanese dance lessons in Umemoto-ryu.
In 2014, I obtained the title of Shihan (Master).

What is Nihonbuyo?

Nihon-buyo is Japanese traditional dance.
And there are two main types of dances; Odori and Mai.

What is Umemoto-style? and difference between Odori and Mai.

The typical Odori is “Kabuki” dance.

“Odori emphasizes the element of rhythm and moving to it. However Mai is soft, with internal expression at its base. ”
(cited from

Mai has been influenced by traditional Japanese performing arts like Noh, Gotenmai (a kind of traditional Japanese dance in palaces) and Ningyo joruri (the traditional Japanese puppet theater).

Kamigata-mai is a classical Japanese dance that developed especially in Kyoto-Osaka regions.They dance quietly in front of folding screens without using large-scale stage settings or costumes.
It was originally enjoyed in the Japanese tatami room.

Kamigata-mai is also called Jiuta-mai because it is performed to the accompaniment of Jiuta.

Jiuta ballad is considered to have started at nearly the same time as the introduction of shamisen (3 string-guitar) in Edo era before Tokyo Kabuki music like Nagauta or Tokiwazu.
It originated in the Kyoto and Osaka regions (Kamigata regions), so people of those regions often called it Ji-uta (folk song) compared to the Edo, Tokyo Kabuki music.

There are 4 major styles in Mai, including Inoue-Ryu, Yamamura-Ryu, Yoshimura-Ryu and Umemoto-Ryu.

The style of Umemoto-Ryu has the same restrained expression as other styles of Mai but the choreography is flowing and elegant.


Normal Lesson


1 hour × 3 times (¥15,000 per month)
In case you miss a lesson, you can adjust it in following month.

Online lesson


40minutes(¥3,000 per lesson)
In case you miss a lesson, you can adjust it in following month.


Please contact me using the inquiry form.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask.


I come from Vienna Austria and have been wanting to learn Nihon Byo since I was 12 years old. I visited kyoto for the first time when I was 19. There I met Aya Sensei.
I started studying with her consistently.
She is very kind and very detail orientated. Since she also speaks English she would explain to me the meaning behind each song I was learning. That helped me to put more feeling in every movement.
Now because of Covid I can't visit Kyoto, but Aya sensei is teaching me via Zoom. I am happy to have found a teacher that even in times like this finds a way to offer lessons.

All the best Gioia



Austrian learns Japanese dance
Kyoto Newspaper Morning Edition, Citizen's Edition, April 12, 2018

Fascinated by Kyoto's Hanamachi: “I want to know the culture better”

An Austrian woman who is fascinated by Kyoto's Hanamachi (Geisha) district has been staying in Kyoto City for several months to learn Japanese dance for the past two years.

"send out messages to the world.”

Ms. Gioia Harder (22) lives in Vienna. In 2016, she visited Kyoto for the first time and experienced the teahouse scene. She was touched by the kindness of the geiko she met and became captivated by the Hanamachi culture.

Since then, she has worked part-time at a Japanese restaurant and as a model in her home country to save money, and has stayed in Kyoto for about a month and a half to two months. She studies under Umeaya Umeoto (47), a former geiko in Miyagawa-cho who is fluent in English, and practices Japanese dance three times a week at the Higashiyama Youth Activity Center.

In February, she stood in front of people for the first time at an event held at the center and performed "Uji-cha," one of the school's representative pieces. She said that this performance helped her to deepen her interest in Japanese dance and reaffirm her desire to improve.

Ms. Umeaya Umemoto hopes that "one day she will become a person who can spread Japanese dance around the world.”

Ms. Harder said, "The culture of Hanamachi is complicated, but I feel that the existence of geiko is a living art and I respect them.”
(Written by Hanae Kato )


Can you practice in English?
Yes. It is possible.
How about practicing for children?
It is possible from the age of 6 years old.
Online lesson available?
Online lessons are also available. However, full-scale online lessons are suitable for experienced students who already know the basics in face to face lessons.
Online lessons available to beginners will be very simple.
Basic movements - Greeting, standing, walking, how to use Japanese dance fan and very short songs.



Please contact me using the inquiry form.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask.

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