Seek into Kyoto-beauty's favorites in northern Gion town
Text: Keiko Nakamura / Photo: Kaniwa Hioki
Gion is the town full of classic Kyoto-ness. Gion Shopping Street is an iconic street leading to Yasaka Shrine that has long been flourishing with business. Many of the shops here has an established history, offering products of high quality to both the local and travelers. It is also known for having brands that are well liked by the celebrities and geisha/maiko.
Gion Store of Yojiya, the leading Kyoto cosmetic brand
Many recognizes Yojiya by its famous Kyo-onna (Kyoto women) logo. They were founded in 1904 as a cosmetic brand to be used at theaters. Their name represents 'yoji' toothbrush that they had been selling then. Gion store is the utmost biggest shop that offers more than 300 products sold on the spot.
One of their most popular product is the 'Abura tori gami (facial oil blotting paper)' (20 sheets for 356 yen). It was first made in response to film maker's grief that the facial oil was such a problem when it starts to glitter too much during the shooting. Hearing this, the founder of Yojiya had developed an oil blotting paper from Japanese paper that was used to thinnen the gold film. This fine paper had succeeded in absorbing the excess oil and becoming a great hit.
Today, they have created many more attractive products, such as 'Mayugomori hand cream' with gentle natural silk sericin (30 gram / 702 yen), refreshing lip balm 'Yuzu tsuyaya' with natural yuzu-citrus oil (928 yen), and long lasting clarity with 'mini face powder UV' (1620 yen). A professional staff is allocated at the 2nd floor of the store to offer advice on the cosmetic products.
If you want Japanese-beauty, go to Kazurasei
Kazurasei Rouho has been devoting in supporting the female beauty ever since its beginning in 1865. They started business as hair stylist at theaters, and expanded by selling hair-related products.
Camellia oil attracts popularity for its effect in bringing out the natural healthiness in hair and skin. Their products are made from carefully selected camellia such as from Goto Islands in Nagasaki. The 'Junsui Tsubaki Abura (Pure Camellia Oil)' (100 ml / 1944 yen~) has been a great hit for long time. 'Kaoru Tsubaki (Aromatic Camellia)' (60 ml / 3564 yen), Tsubaki (Camellia) shampoo and conditioner (2160 yen each), 'Hon Tsuge Kushi' (wooden comb in a chirimen-cloth case, 1944 yen~) and other hair accessories are among its wide lineups.
Aroma of Kyoto in a lovely clothes, Toyoda Aisando
A beauty of female cannot forget the aroma. Toyoda Aisando Roho is a specialist since Edo period (1603-1868). They are specialized store for incense and sutra book, and have been favored by the head temple of Jodo-shu, Chion-in. Their products respects heavily the traditional Japanese culture, yet also gives thought on how today's people can enjoy them. Wide lineups are from muskwood incense for religious as well as daily use, 'inkou' a fragrant powder kneaded and hardened into shapes, incense in a lovely bag, and many other related items.
A pure silk made aroma bag Tsubaki (4860 yen) should be a great gift. Fumiko (360 yen) is used to put in a letter and comes in variety of shapes, from leaf to heart.
Northern Gion area is a fun area to search for little elegant items.
ADDRESS: Northeastern Corner of Hanamikoji Street, Gion Shijo, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto（map）
ADDRESS: 285 Kitagawa, Gion-cho, Shijo-dori, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto（map）
ADDRESS: 277 Kigatawa, Gion-cho, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto（map）
★TRAVEL IDEA ‘10 Things To Do in Kyoto'
① Visiting Temples and Shrines
② Buying souvenirs
③ Visiting Arashiyama・Sagano
④ Having Kyo-ryori
⑤ Wearing Kimono
⑥ Having Japanese tea
⑦ Having seafood
⑧ Visiting shops in Machiya
⑨ Being exposed to a traditional culture
⑩ Feeling nature