Lonely Planet review
Kamigamo-jinja is one of Japan’s oldest shrines and predates the founding of Kyoto. Established in 679, it is dedicated to Raijin, the god of thunder, and is one of Kyoto’s 17 Unesco World Heritage sites. The present buildings (more than 40 in all), including the impressive Haiden hall, are exact reproductions of the originals, dating from the 17th to 19th centuries. The shrine is entered from a long approach through two torii (shrine gateways). The two large conical white-sand mounds in front of Hosodono hall are said to represent mountains sculpted for gods to descend upon. It’s not one of Kyoto’s leading sights but it’s worth a look if you find yourself in the north.