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Shimogamo Shrine

This shrine was dedicated to spirits in the 6th century. Now, it survives as the oldest of its kind in Kyoto, pre-dating the city itself.

This site is one of the two oldest shrines in the city of Kyoto. It is part of the Kamo Shrines, which are considered extremely significant as they pre-date the city itself. Even the site’s surviving trees date back to the 15th century. It is listed as one of the 17 Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto.

Visit the traditional main halls with their sloping roofs. They are dedicated to deities. Wander the large grounds to see the seemingly countless shrines on the site. Find the Mitarashi Shrine and its large pond where autumnal purification ceremonies take place. Head to the red palace, which is surrounded by clay that may have been used for ceramics many years ago.

Marvel at the 600-year-old trees of the Tadasu no Mori forest surrounding the shrine’s complex. Walk across the Taikobashi Bridge to enjoy the greenery of the surrounding trees. The forest is on a river delta, encouraging the lush, green landscape. Visit the shrine in spring to make the most of the cherry blossom trees. Take photos of the most famous tree, which stands in front of the forest’s vermillion gate. The woods cover an area of 30 acres (12 hectares).

The site’s name means “Lower Kamo Shrine,” which stresses its important link with the Kamigamo Shrine. Of the two, Shimogamo is believed to be the oldest, possibly dating back to the 6th century. It is dedicated to deities and spirits. During Kyoto’s reign as Japan’s capital, the imperial family designated it as a site of protection and prosperity.

The shrine sits in the north of Kyoto, between the Takano and Kamo rivers. Demachi-Yanagi Station is 0.7 miles (1.1 km) away on foot. It is on the Keihan Line of the city’s subway. Buses run regularly to Shimogamojinja-mae bus stop, right by the shrine.


Guide to Exploring around Shimogamo Shrine


Lodging Near Shimogamo Shrine

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Yadoya Kyoto-Shimogamo

Yadoya Kyoto-Shimogamo

    3.5 out of 5.0
     
     

    Situated in Kyoto, this holiday home is within 1 mi (2 km) of Shimogamo Shrine and Kyoto Institute of Technology. Kyoto University and Kyoto Imperial Palace ...

    Yadoya Kyoto-ShimogamoAU$538

    Kyoto studio house

    Kyoto studio house

      2.5 out of 5.0
       
       

      Situated in Kyoto, this guesthouse is within 1 mi (2 km) of Shimogamo Shrine, Kyoto University, and Kyoto Institute of Technology. Kyoto Imperial Palace and ...

      Hidden Inn Shimogamo

      Hidden Inn Shimogamo

        3.0 out of 5.0
         
         

        Situated in Kyoto, this holiday home is within 1 mi (2 km) of Shimogamo Shrine and Kyoto University. Kyoto Imperial Palace and Heian Shrine are also within 2 ...

        Guest House Motana

        Guest House Motana

          3.0 out of 5.0
           
           

          Situated in Kyoto, this holiday home is within 1 mi (2 km) of Shimogamo Shrine and Kyoto University. Kyoto Imperial Palace and Heian Shrine are also within 2 ...

          Kyoto Guest House Kohinobori - Adult Only Hostel

          Kyoto Guest House Kohinobori - Adult Only Hostel

            1.0 out of 5.0
             
             

            Situated in the historical district, this hostel is within 1 mile (2 km) of Shimogamo Shrine, Kyoto University and Kyoto Imperial Palace. Heian Shrine and Kawaramachi ...

            Kyoto Brighton Hotel

            Kyoto Brighton Hotel

              4.5 out of 5.0
               
               

              Located in Central Kyoto, this luxury hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Kyoto Imperial Palace and Doshisha University. Nijō Castle and Kyoto University are ...

              Kyoto Brighton HotelAU$274

              Karan Hoshi

              Karan Hoshi

                3.0 out of 5.0
                 
                 

                Situated in Kyoto, this holiday home is within 1 mi (2 km) of Shimogamo Shrine, Kyoto University, and Doshisha University. Kyoto Imperial Palace and Heian Shrine ...

                Rakuya Demachiyanagi East

                Rakuya Demachiyanagi East

                  3.0 out of 5.0
                   
                   

                  Situated in Kyoto, this holiday home is within 1 mi (2 km) of Shimogamo Shrine, Kyoto University, and Doshisha University. Kyoto Imperial Palace and Heian Shrine ...

                  *Price based on the lowest price found within past 24 hours and based upon one night stay for two adults over the next thirty days. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.