One place in Japan where I don't hegitate to take pictures of people is Kyoto. I don't go after any geisha girls, but some do that. Some people, undoubltly the tourists just go nuts in the evening hours when the geisha girls are getting ready to go to work.
Sometimes the geishas are already companied with their clients when they are getting on a cab, etc, but you see a lot of flash light being fired from the cameras in the street. That's almost like the red-carpet treatment in Hollywood for some celebs appearing at a movie premire or something.
Although the geisha culture is a too big part of city's attraction to be avoided, I sometimes wonder if there's any complaint about the manner of picture-taking there in general.