Shimogamo-jinja Shrine

A 2,000-year-old shrine in a primeval forest

Shimogamo-jinja Shrine is a historical and revered shrine located in Kyoto, japan. It holds a significant place in the hearts of the people and is considered one of the oldest and most venerated shrines in the country. Situated at the meeting point of the Takano and Kamo rivers, the shrine is surrounded by the enchanting Tadasu no Mori, a large forest that has been preserved despite the modernization of Kyoto.

The shrine is dedicated to Kamotaketsunomi-no-mikoto, the creator and guardian of the city, and his daughter, Tamayorihime-no-mikoto. It is believed that they protect and watch over Kyoto, ensuring its well-being and prosperity. People from all over come to pay their respects and seek their blessings.

One of the unique rituals observed at Shimogamo-jinja Shrine is the act of bathing feet in Mitarashi Pond. It is believed that by doing so, one can cleanse themselves of sins and illnesses, and also ensure a safe birth. The pond holds a special significance and is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike.

To reach Shimogamo-jinja Shrine, one can take the Keihan Line to Demachiyanagi Station. From there, it’s just a short 10-minute walk north to the shrine. The convenience of public transportation makes it easily accessible for visitors.

Protector of Kyoto

Shimogamo-jinja Shrine, along with Kamigamo-jinja Shrine, is designated as a World Heritage site. These two shrines are believed to serve as protectors of Kyoto, safeguarding the city from evil forces. Shimogamo-jinja Shrine has a rich history that dates back to the 6th century, predating Kyoto’s establishment as the capital of Japan. It is dedicated to the god of the harvest and is renowned for its intricate architecture and numerous small shrines within the complex.

The shrine’s architectural details are truly awe-inspiring. Each structure is meticulously crafted, showcasing the skills and craftsmanship of ancient Japanese artisans. The attention to detail and the preservation of traditional architectural techniques make Shimogamo-jinja Shrine a marvel to behold.

A forest where lies are exposed

Tadasu no Mori, the forest surrounding Shimogamo-jinja Shrine, is a place of tranquility and natural beauty. The forest is home to broadleaf trees that have been standing for up to six centuries. As one walks through the forest, a sense of serenity and peace envelops them, providing an escape from the bustling city.

Legend has it that Tadasu no Mori is a sacred area where lies are exposed. It is believed that the forest has the power to reveal the truth and settle disputes. This belief has made the forest a popular destination for those seeking resolution and clarity in their lives. The lush greenery and the soothing sounds of nature make it an ideal place for contemplation and reflection.

Fantastic festivals

Shimogamo-jinja Shrine is not only a place of worship but also a hub of cultural festivities. Throughout the year, the shrine hosts various festivals and events that attract locals and tourists alike. One such event is the electrifying yabusame archery contest held on May 3. Skilled archers display their prowess by shooting arrows on the move from horseback, creating a thrilling spectacle for the audience.

Another famous festival associated with Shimogamo-jinja Shrine is the Aoi Matsuri. Held annually in May, this festival celebrates the spring harvest and is one of Kyoto’s most renowned events. The shrine serves as the starting point for the grand procession that winds its way through the city, showcasing traditional costumes and ancient rituals.


Shimogamo-jinja Shrine is a testament to Japan’s rich cultural heritage and deep-rooted traditions. Its age-old history, stunning architecture, and serene surroundings make it a must-visit destination for anyone interested in exploring the country’s spiritual and historical aspects. Whether you seek solace, wish to witness vibrant festivals, or simply want to immerse yourself in the beauty of nature, Shimogamo-jinja Shrine offers a truly enchanting experience.

Address And Maps Location:

59 Shimogamo Izumigawa-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto-fu

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