kagami ema

Mirror shaped plaques of women wishing to be more beautiful

Kawai-jinja Shrine is within the grounds of Shimogamo Shrine, but it’s worth a visit in its own. It enshrines “Tamayorihimemikoto”, daughter of deity in Shimogamo-jinja, and worshiped as the guardian angel of the woman. It has a reputation for beauty, and so you will see many young women buying mirror-shaped wooden plaques “kagami-ema”  and then painting their ideal faces on them with make-up before hanging them on the shrine wall. It’s fun to spend a few minutes  looking at these portraits, many of them pretty and a few funny or you could paint your own. In the shop beside the entrance to the shrine, you can buy a glass of ““beauty water”, which is actually juice made from quinces grown in the shrine grounds. These contain various vitamins which are said to be good for the skin.

kawai shrine
● The main hall

kagami-ema2
● Painting “kawaii” faces on mirror-shaped wooden plaques

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Open : 06:30 to 17:00

Fee : Free in the shrine precincts :   Kagami-ema 800yen

Bus: Kyoto city bus No.4 from JR Kyoto station to Shimogamo-jinja-mae Stop

Access : 10-minute walk from Keihan Demachiyanagi station

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