sights / Religious

Shimogamo-jinja information

Kyoto , Japan
59 Izumigawa-chō, Shimogamo, Sakyō-ku
Getting there
Train: Keihan line to Demachiyanagi
Bus: Kyoto City bus 205 to Shimogamo-jinja-mae
Opening hours
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This shrine, dating from the 8th century, is a Unesco World Heritage site. It is nestled in the fork of the Kamo-gawa and Takano-gawa rivers, and is approached along a shady path through the lovely Tadasu-no-mori. This wooded area is said to be a place where lies cannot be concealed and is considered a prime location to sort out disputes. The trees here are mostly broadleaf (a rarity in Kyoto) and they are gorgeous in the springtime.

The shrine is dedicated to the god of harvest. Traditionally, pure water was drawn from the nearby rivers for purification and agricultural ceremonies. The Hondō (Main Hall) dates from 1863 and, like the Haiden hall at its sister shrine, Kamigamo-jinja, is an excellent example of nagare -style shrine architecture. The annual yabusame (horseback archery) event here is spectacular. It happens on 3 May in Tadasu-no-mori.