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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

See all 3,070 properties near Shimogamo Shrine
ANA Crowne Plaza Kyoto

ANA Crowne Plaza Kyoto

    4.0 out of 5.0
     
     

    Located in Central Kyoto, this romantic hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Nijō Castle and Shijo Omiya. Kawaramachi and Nishiki Market are also within 1 mile ...

    ANA Crowne Plaza KyotoAU$151

    Yadoya Kyoto-Shimogamo

    Yadoya Kyoto-Shimogamo

      3.5 out of 5.0
       
       

      Located in Sakyo Ward, 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$668

      Hidden Inn Shimogamo

      Hidden Inn Shimogamo

        3.0 out of 5.0
         
         

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

        Family Friendly Boutique Townhouse In Quiet Area With Bikes

        Family Friendly Boutique Townhouse In Quiet Area With Bikes

        82-6 Tanaka Minaminishiuracho Sakyo-ku,, Kyoto, Kyoto (prefecture)
           
           

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

          Guest House Motana

          Guest House Motana

            3.0 out of 5.0
             
             

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

            Marikoji Inn Kyoto

            Marikoji Inn Kyoto

              3.0 out of 5.0
               
               

              Located in Sakyo Ward, this inn is within 1 mile (2 km) of Yoshida Shrine, Kyoto University and Doshisha University. Kyoto Imperial Palace and Philosopher's ...

              Marikoji Inn KyotoAU$175

              Kyoto Guest House Kohinobori

              Kyoto Guest House Kohinobori

              Tanaka Kamiyanagityo 17-1, Kyoto, Kyoto
                1.0 out of 5.0
                 
                 

                Located in Sakyo Ward, this hostel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Shimogamo Shrine and Kyoto Imperial Palace. Heian Shrine and Gion Corner are also within 3 mi (5 ...

                Kyoto Guest House Kohinobori AU$203

                Hotel Riverte Kyoto Kamogawa

                Hotel Riverte Kyoto Kamogawa

                202 Seiryucho, Kamigyo, Kyoto, Kyoto
                  2.5 out of 5.0
                   
                   

                  Located in Kamigyo, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Shimogamo Shrine and Kyoto Imperial Palace. Heian Shrine and Gion Corner are also within 3 mi (5 km). ...

                  Hotel Riverte Kyoto KamogawaAU$349

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