November 25, 2019

Yojiya Kyoto Kids Project is a company that was born in Kyoto and is one of the representative companies of Japan. Yojiya has lived with Kyoto Make Up that is flamboyant and elegant. Yojiya is one of the few cosmetic companies that have protected “sense of beauty of Kyoto” as a successor. We have doubts about why Yojiya is so popular and they can stay in business for over one hundred years. We look into about Yojiya to find answers about these questions. We are going to describe on these three points; history, production and café.


Yojiya started with the name of Kunieda Store in 1904. It’s peddled makeup kits for theatrical performers since Kyoto is famous for its traditional entertainment districts and performing arts like Kabuki and makeup kits are needed because of them. Then it started to produce toothbrushes as modern dental hygiene developed. At that time a toothbrush was called “Yo-ji” so Kunieda Store was popular with the name of Yojiya and it changed its store name to Yojiya. In 1920s, oil blotting paper received favorable reviews. It has been a star product of Yojiya and helped Yojiya to be famous across the whole country. The first Yojiya’s logo was drawn by Nobuo Kunieda, the second president, with clown motifs in 1945 and Yojiya started to do business with other companies but in those days make-to-order manufacturing was standard as Yojiya’s business. However, Nobuo Kunieda designed a new logo of a hand mirror, an essential item for a lady’s appearance, with a beautiful Kyoto lady. This logo of a beautiful Kyoto lady has spread as the face of Yojiya.

The origimal logo
The current logo

The current president, Yasuhiro Kunieda, established a development section for online shopping, expanding abroad, and so on but this change built Yojiya brand. Now Yojiya has some shops outside Japan in places like in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Hawaii. Since 2000, Yojiya started a new project, called “The 2000s Project,” and tried new makeup products, café, and beauty salon expanding its business flexibility. This is the chronological table of Yojiya.

・2000: The first duty-free shop at Kansai Airport opened This shop begun with small corner but now there are some duty-free shop in Haneda Airport and Narita Airport.

・2001: The basic cosmetic, Uruoi-plus, was produced In 2000, Yojiya distributed samples in Tokyo. It was in great success and then Uruoi-plus went on be sold from 2001

・2002: Yojiya makeup kits started on sale Although Yojiya makeup tools had been popular among the traditional entertainment districts and performing arts, to pass down the traditional makeup kits culture to the future, this project came true.

・2003: Yojiya Café opened nearby Ginkakuji Temple The café has opened so that customers can wait there when the Yojiya Store is crowded. It is based on Japanese Omotenashi mind.

・2004: The first Yojiya shop in a department store opened  

・2006: Yojiya joined Taiwan International Travel Event Yojiya appealed to Taiwanese with the star product, oil blotting paper.

・2007: Joined JAPANESE EXPO in Paris, France It was held for 5 months for a limited period.

・2008: Renovated the second floor of Gion Yojiya Store as a cosmetic floor.

・2009: Joined CIDESCO world conference in Kyoto Yojiya gave a presentation saying oil blotting paper is the only daily beauty salon and displayed and sold it. It was a chance to tell not only the Japanese culture and the sense of beauty also oil blotting paper was getting to be popular as skin care item not just for makeup freshening.

・2010: The logos for Yojiya café and Yojiya cosmetics were designed

・2012: The first Yojiya beauty shop and café opened in Tokyo

・2014: Joined The Pacific SOGO in Taiwan for a limited period It led to approach the Asian market.

・2016: Joined Japanese Style Faire in Thailand


Yojiya consciously selected their production. They give first priority to gentle on the skin and have an earnest heart of craftmanship that is committed to maining quality in all of their ingredients. They take good care that their products are comfortable to use since they are to be used every day. Therefore, they consider about sensitive skin and only use low simulation natural materials. In addition, they use the term “brushing on lipstick” not “putting on lipsticks” because it makes women feel a polite mood such as taking time for beauty. The behavior is very feminine and shows attractive “Kyoto Make Up” has had a long history.

It is not too much to say that the representative blotting papers of Japan is made by Yojiya. The initial blotting paper was 4 times as large as the current one, but it has been improved to same size with the palm of a hand and it is popular. It has many varieties such as cherry blossom for the spring version, maccha for the summer version, and yuzu for the autumn version.

Nowadays, cosmetics that complement Japanese traditional colors have been created. The brightly-colored makeup that was used in previous eras is an attractive and have a quaint atmosphere. Their products are not only for women, but they have a skin care line for men such as facial sheet, cleaning foam and skin lotion. Other than those, they have some kinds of cologne, especially solid perfume which comes in small container. The Yojiya fragrance line includes peach’s classy sweet, lily of the valley’s elegant floral and mild musk’s odor. Yojiya fragrances use all-natural materials except for aroma. Their products are also alcohol-free.

Moreover, cookie that is delicious and good for their skin was released. Barley has plenty of dietary fiber is included in sable and helps promoting the activity of the gut and makes enteral environment be normal. If it is abnormal, it causes skin problems such as rough skin and acne skin. Hence, improving gut environment has a potential for skin condition’s advancement.

Tourists who visit Kyoto can enjoy shopping Yojiya as a souvenir or traditional item of Kyoto. All of these products can be ordered on the internet, so customers who live in far from Yojiya’s stores can also enjoy the products.


Yojiya is one of the biggest Japanese cosmetic company. Yojiya is famous for its cosmetic products, but actually they run cafes too and these are very popular too among especially tourists and young people. Young people want something of photogenic because it is good for Instagram. Yojiya’s café matches their needs.

There are several Yojiya cafes in Kyoto city. You can enjoy Japanese sweets in there. Those sweets are not only delicious, but Yojiya’s logo is printed on their goods, so you can enjoy seeing it. The most popular menu is Yojiya cappuccino. A Japanese woman, in Yojiya’s logo is drawn on the surface. Just like latte art. Some people hesitate to drink it because of the high quality of the drawing. There are other flavors available, including matcha. Sometimes matcha is used as a seasoning in Japan. Especially people use it for sweets and drink. Matcha has been used by Japanese people since the olden days. It can be said to be a traditional seasoning. How about trying matcha?

Yojiya café serves the sweets with seasonal fruits. If you have a favorite fruit, it’s better search before you visit. All foods are delicious. Don’t worry about finding something you like. You can take the light meal at the café. Why not have lunch at Yojiya café. The Yojiya’ café’s location is nice. One of Yojiya cafes is next to Ginkaku-ji temple. It’s a very scenic sight and it was registered as a cultural site of world heritage. Another Yojiya café is in Arashiyama, and here you can feel nature. Arashiyama is famous for bamboo forest and bridge over the big river. And surrounded the mountains. You can enjoy meal with nature. There are some Yojiya cafés in Kyoto apart from these, but all Yojiya cafés have good access from Kyoto station. You can drop by there during a tour of Kyoto. And the goods of Yojiya are available at the cafe. Many unique items are selling. For example, T-shirt the Yojiya’s logo is printed, Matcha flavored chocolate and plates and teacups used at the Yojiya café. These are suitable for souvenirs.


Yojiya company was born in Kyoto and improved with history of over one hundred years in Kyoto is definitely representative of Kyoto and Japan. They consider it is common sense to prioritize natural materials that are also gentle on the skin and cherish intangible values. They do not sell items except for truly good quality. They try to keep making products carefully that Yojiya is the only one that can make by taking time and effort. What they are aiming at is the true beauty of a woman which was made from “sense of beauty in Kyoto”. Lastly, what made Yojiya popular and trustworthy is considered behavior of manufacturing have no qualms about taking time and keep going passionately over one hundred years.


by Minako Ueda and Ryoko Umekawa


Have you ever heard of a famous store in Kyoto called Yojiya? It is a well-respected cosmetics business with a long tradition. It was founded more than 50 years ago. But among Japanese today, the product it is most known for is its special skin-cleansing paper pad. However, Yojiya, has many other products that have appeal.

Kyoto has been the center of Japanese make-up culture from the Heian period.  Many new cosmetic treatments and fashion were first developed in Kyoto, and later became popular in the rest of Japan. Yojiya was founded in 1953 as an establishment that sold theatrical make-up. Yojiya’s products came to be loved by many people, especially stage actors and actresses. Traditional Japanese theater culture, including Kabuki, was very popular back then.


Yojiya has a unique logo. The logo’s motif is an ink painting of “a Kyoto woman reflected in a hand mirror.” It was designed by Yojiya’s second president, who thought the logo should illustrate the concept that “a woman’s appearance is important.”  The logo is so unique that it is known even to people who live outside of Kyoto.

Yojiya is also famous for aburatorigami. This special product, cleansing pad paper, absorbs oil from the skin. Yojiya’s aburatorigami was originally made for stage actors in Kyoto. These actors had a problem; they suffered from profuse sweat caused the hot lights above the stage. Aburatorigami was developed especially for them. It is made from gold and paper, which are melded together through repeated hitting with a kind of wooden hammer.

The unique ability of Yojiya aburatorigami is that it absorbs unnecessary oil from the face while leaving some oil to keep the face moist.

Yojiya’s Best 3 Cosmetics

No. 1: Aburatorigami (Original, Sakura, Green tea, Yuzu)  \340~

The available types of aburatorigami change each season.

This is the most famous product of Yojiya.

No.2: Mayugomori Hand Cream. \400~

This product guards skin against ultraviolet rays.

This is makes a good present.

No.3:Yuzu Lip Cream. \900~

Is made of only natural ingredients and contains no scent.

It features four different kinds of oil to prevent dryness of lips.

hand cream



Other Recommended Products:

Paper Soup \350

This “soup” can be used for cleansing hands.

It is compact and can be taken out.

Foundation and Face color are popular too.

・Liquid foundation: \4410

This foundation covers skin with moisture.

・Powder foundation: \3500

The skin becomes clear in tone through minute particle powder.

・Face color: \2100

The face color has 16 colors in all. You can choose a color that suits you.

This can used for cheeks and as shadow.

These costs are a bit expensive, but you will experience fine Japanese cosmetic quality.

And there are gifts too. You can buy products of Yojiya as aKyotosouvenir.

face color



Yojiya Café


As the Internet spread among people, Yojiya’s reputation also spread. More and more people have come to Yojiya after it became known online.  However, there were only two stores in the old days, so customers had to wait a long time for service. So Yojiya’s staff began to serve tea to waiting customers. This style became the origin of the present-day Yojiya Café. In this café, we can choose from various kinds of food and drink. For example, we can eat spaghetti, pizza, curry rice, sandwiches and parfaits.

Some popular items at the Yojiya café, Sanjo store are:

1. Yojiya cappuccino. This is the most popular drink on the menu. The Yojiya logo is recreated in the froth of the cappuccino. 

2. Shibazuke pepperoncino pickles and potherb mustard

  We can eat these at only the Sanjo store.

3. Japanese parfait

  There are other various kinds of delicious desserts as well.


Yojiya sells their products on the Internet for those who can’t come toKyoto.  They also opened a new store inTokyoin 2012. They have many stores not only inKyotobut in other cities. Even if you can’t come toKyoto, you can still use Yojiya’s cosmetics. You can feelKyoto’s atmosphere and culture even if you don’t live here.

They have outlets near famous sightseeing spots in Kyoto, for example Kiyomizu temple, Arashiyama and Kinnkakuji.  If you go to sightseeing in Kyoto, please visit to Yojiya.

To visit Yojiya’s website,


Feel a Japanese Tradition on Your Skin

by Akiko Nakai and Mami Nishiyama

Feel a Japanese Tradition on Your Skin

~Cosmetics from Kyoto~

Kyoto, which was once capital of Japan, is rich in lively colors that are found in its four distinct seasons – spring, summer, autumn and winter (shunkashuto). In spite of a harsh environment (soggy summers and freezing winters), nature has enabled the inhabitants of Kyoto to find a variety of vivid colors in plants, such as flowers and trees, along with the transition of the four seasons. Surrounded by abundant nature, Kyoto has cultivated its own unique culture and arts such as kabuki, geiko (geisha), temples and shrines. These factors were all instrumental in helping to develop cosmetics, which have attracted many women in Japan since early times. Nowadays it is called Kyo-cosme (Kyoto cosmetics), and gradually it is gaining fans not only in Japan but also in foreign countries.

★Colors in Kyoto★

For aristocrats in the Heian period (794-1192 AD), it was regarded as the height of sophistication to express the beauty of nature through their clothes or poetry by using these colors as symbols of the seasons.Therefore, many new colors were created through the events held at the Imperial Palace. These colors have been passed down from generation to generation, and now you can find a variety of lively colors for rouge, eye shadow, and blush at a cosmetic company called Yojiya. There you can try on these colors, so how about strolling around Kyoto while becoming a Kyo-bijin (Kyoto beauty)?
For more information on Yojiya, please visit http://www.yojiya.co.jp/english/index.html 

↑Ninnaji in spring

↑Matsuo Taisha in summer

↑Daikakuji in Autumn

↑Kibune in Winter

If you try Kyoto makeup, would you like to ensure that the beautiful makeup stays on as long as possible? There is now a must-have item for young women wanting to keep their makeup on for a long time. It is called aburatorigami. If you were to look into young women’s purses, you would find aburatorigami most of the time.



“Abura-tori-gami” means “oil-blotting-paper.” As the words imply, it absorbs grease and takes the shine
from your face. If you use it before touching up your makeup, it helps the makeup stay on much longer.
Aburatorigami also works well to keep the balance of water and oil in your skin and prevents skin trouble
such as pimples.


The original aburatorigami was born about 1000 years ago as a by-product of making gold leaf in Kanazawa.
Originally, paper called hakuuchi-gami was used to support delicate gold when a craftsman hammered
the gold out into very thin leaf.

When Kyoto was the imperial capital (794-1192 AD), the demand was extremely high; gold was used
in decorating temples and in providing the emperor and the nobility with high-quality furnishings and
crafts. Thus, much hakuuchi-gami was taken to Kyoto as wrapping for delicate gold leaf.

Time went by, and a rumor “Hakuuchi-gami makes you feel just like you’ve taken a bath!” spread throughout Kyoto. People were surprised to see how much oil was absorbed by only a piece of thin paper, which was then thrown away. This was the moment when aburatorigami was born.

At the same time as the rumor, Minamiza, the first playhouse of Japan, was built in Kyoto.There weren’t, of course, any air conditioning systems at that time, so the kabuki actors were always struggling with the oil and sweat on their faces that ruined their thick makeup. Aburatorigami was the very product which the actors had longed for. It prevented their makeup from coming off, and reduced the time needed for touching up their makeup. The reputation of aburatorigami soon reached the pleasure district of Gion, and the paper became loved by many geisha, who also wore a thick white foundation and didn’t have much time to touch up their makeup. Thus, the culture of aburatorigami began to flourish here in Kyoto. (For more information on geisha, see Kazumi YONEO

http://kyoproin.joho.kufs.ac.jp/dp/dp01.nsf/Update/625FEECF6ED7148849256FA100174BA3/ ).

↑Minamiza (The first playhouse)

↑Kabuki actor

↑Maiko (geisha)

Aburatorigami Now

“Hey! Look at all of them! Gosh, I can’t choose only one!”
Nowadays, you can hear these high-pitched cries in many souvenir shops in Kyoto. Aburatorigami is now popular not only among stage actors and mature women but also among boys and girls with oily skin in junior high and high school. I actually used it often when I was a teenager, and it worked really well for preventing pimples. Indeed, aburatorigami is the No.1 souvenir among students visiting Kyoto for their school excursions. How about buying it for your children as a souvenir?

In this fashion, this special paper has been passed down from kabuki actors and geisha, and now its use has spread all over Japan. Furthermore, people have kept the spirit of protecting nature here in Kyoto,which is reflected in the Kyoto Protocol, together with the noble colors based on nature. When you visit Japan,why not feel a tradition on your skin with Kyoto colors and aburatorigami?