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

Address : 59 Shimogamo Izumikawacho, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto, 606-0807

Access : 10-minute walk from Keihan Demachiyanagi station

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

Hours : 06:30 to 17:00

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

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