Shimogamo Shrine together with Kamigamo Shrine are known as the Kamo Shrines, and they are both recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Kamo Shrines were two of the most revered shrines by the Imperial Court, who often made offerings there.
Originally built prior to Kyoto becoming Japan's capital, Shimogamo Shrine is one of the first shrines built in Kyoto.
The forest surrounding the shrine, known as Tadasu no Mori, is believed to be a natural forest, and legend has it that the secrets of those who enter the forest will be revealed. The forest contains trees that are up to 600 years old.
Kamigamo Shrine "Upper Kamo Shrine" is most famous for the Tatesuna, the two large sand cones on its grounds. They serve a purification function for the shrine, and have been made ritually since ancient times.
Kamigamo Shrine stands about three and a half kilometers upriver from Shimogamo Shrine in Kita Ward. Entrance is free.
The shrines’ annual festival, Kamo no Matsuri, also called Aoi Matsuri, is the oldest of Kyoto's three major festivals. The others are Jidai Matsuri and Gion Matsuri.
Shimogamo Shrine can be accessed from Demachiyanagi Station "Keihan Line". The Shrine is a 15 minutes’ walk from the station.
Kamigamo Shrine – From Kyoto Station take the train on Karasuma Subway Line to Kitaoji Station "takes about 15 minutes". The Shrine is a 15 minutes’ walk from the Station.
Kamigamo Shrine can also be reached from Shimogamo Shrine or Demachiyanagi Station by Kyoto City Bus number 4 "takes about 30 minutes".
Shimogamo Shrine - Sakyo-ku & Kamigamo Shrine - Kita-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto Prefecture