May 27, 2013

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 Yojiya’s aburatorigami was originally made for stage actors in Kyoto.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,


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