Kawai Shrine - Kyoto

Located in 59 Shimogamo Izumigawacho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto City in Kyoto Prefecture, Kawai Shrine (河合神社) also called Kawai Jinja is one of the hundreds of shrines found in the old capital of Japan.

Kawai Jinja
Kawai Shrine (河合神社) also called Kawai Jinja

Kawai Shrine Details

What makes Kawai Shrine unique from the other shrines in Kyoto City is the fact that it "specializes" in the aesthetic needs of its pilgrims. What I mean by that is, pilgrims would visit Kawai Shrine to pray for beauty. Hence its English name Beauty Shrine

Look for this torii gate on your left side when you're going to Shimogamo Shrine.

The entrance to the shrine is just a few steps away from the torii gate

You have to enter here to get to Kawai Shrine

You have to buy the hand mirror-shaped ema to decorate

Then place it in the ema rack

Kifune Shrine

Rokusha or the house of the Kami 

The Kagaraden

The Kagaraden and the shrine

Kawai Shrine

Kawai Shrine is flocked by women of all ages (and on rare occasions men) in hopes of gaining or improving their beauty by means of faith and prayers. Worshipers usually buy mirror-shaped ema votive plaques called kagami-ema and then draw there their ideal faces. They then hang it on the kagami-ema rack before wishing for good looks. Some also buy a glass of "beauty water" called bijinsui which is made from quinces grown at the shrine. It is believed that it is good for one's complexion once consumed. Another way of wishing for beauty (without purchasing something)  is the "power stone" in front of the main hall. It is said that it can bestow beautiful skin if one strokes it and then touches their face afterward. 

The reconstructed hut of the author Kamo no Chomei

It is also good to note that it inside the vicinity of the Kawai Shrine is a reconstruction of the hut where the Kamakura Period author Kamo no Chomei is said to have composed the classic Hokoji (An Account of a Ten-Foot-Square Hut). Aside from the hut, one would also find a mini-shrine in the shrine vicinity that is dedicated to Yatagarasu who is the three-legged crow that served as the helper of Japan's legendary first Emperor Jimmu. 

The magical mirror. It is said that it gives beauty to those who look at it.

I got to visit Kawai Shrine during the 7th day of our 2018 Japan trip. Actually, it was an accidental visit, I was walking with my family to Shimogamo Shrine when I saw a torii leading to one area of Shimogamo. Ever the curious blogger, I told my wife to continue to Shimogamo Shrine while I take a quick look at what's in that area. Lo and behold, I found myself in a shrine with quite a handful of good-looking ladies. It would only be later that day that I'd discover why. Anyway, I did not miss the chance to get a goshuin here for my collection.

Kawai Shrine Admission Fee:

Before I forget, there are no admission/entrance fees when entering the Kawai Shrine vicinity so there are really no hindrances in achieving that dream beauty. 

Kawai Shrine Opening Hours:

Keep in mind that Kawai Shrine is open from 6:30AM to 7PM

Why visit Kawai Shrine?

Kawai Shrine is a must-visit for people who would want to be beautiful without undergoing medical procedures. If you're one of those people, then head to the shrine now! 

Getting to Kawai Shrine:

You can ride either one of these Kyoto City buses; #1, #3, #4, #17, #102, #201, or #203 and board down at the Demachiyanagi bus stop. From there, the shrine is a mere 5-minute walk away.

You can also ride Kyoto City bus #1, #37, or #205 and board down at the Aoibashi Nishizune bus stop and then walk to the shrine. 

Overall rating


  1. Would love to take the Kids here. Is it kid-friendly? They might be 4 and 1.5 when we plan to go.

  2. Shrines of Japan have deep reverence among people. I have myself visited many and felt the spiritual aura. Your pics of Kyoto shrine are stunning.

  3. I love learning about customs in Japan. This was truly interesting :)

  4. I live in Nagoya, which is about a hour way and I visit Kyoto once a year about. There are so many shrines I have to yet to visit. And this is one. I have to see the mirror!

    1. The shrine is really a must visit. How I wish I could stay a year in Kyoto City and discover everything that it has to offer.

  5. This is such a peaceful looking place. Will visit it someday for sure

    1. Please do visit Kawai Shrine on you next visit to Japan.

  6. I think I must visit this temple to ask more blessings for the Gods. It isn't hurt to ask for beauty :)


Post a Comment

Book your hotel thru KLOOK

Subscribe and get updated with the latest travel articles of The Backpack Adventures

Popular posts from this blog

A Guide to Collecting Eki Stamps

Blue Coral Beach Resort - Batangas

Quituinan Hills - Albay

Otaru City Budget Day Tour Itinerary

Top 10 Things To Do in Maragondon, Cavite

Barcelona Ruins Park - Sorsogon

Dancalan Beach - Sorsogon

Mayon Rest House & Mayon Planetarium - Albay

10 Things to Do in Sapporo City

Sirena ng Atimonan - Quezon