Local map

Places of interest in the vicinity

Shimogamo-jinja (Kamomioya-jinja)

In the area where the Kamo-gawa river and the Takano-gawa river join, Tadasu-no-Mori wood spreads south to north. As you walk on a path in the forest toward the north, you will see a cinnabar red Torii gateway and, beyond it, two-storied gate with the same color. Twin main halls of the Shinto shrine stand farther inside but Hei-den building blocks your view and they are barely visible. The identical main halls are national treasures and stand side by side. The right hall, or the East Shrine is dedicated to Tamayori-hime, and on the left is the West Shrine that is dedicated her father, Kamo-Taketsunumi-no-Mikoto.

In addition to these halls, the shrine has 55 buildings that are important cultural assets.

The formal name of this shrine is Kamomioya-jinja which literally means the shrine for ancestors of Kamo clan. The historic shrine is commonly known as Shimogamo-jinja that means Lower Kamo Shrine. Together with Kamigamo-jinja, or Upper Kamo Shrine, Shimogamo-jinja composes Kamo-jinja. The two shrines are members of seventeen World Cultural Heritage sites in Kyoto. Aoi-matsuri, or Mallow (Hollyhock) festival is the festival of Kamo shrine.

Legend of Shimogamo-jinja

One day, a daughter of Kamo-Taketsunumi-no-Mikoto, Tamayori-hime was playing beside a stream called Semi-no-ogawa and found a red arrow flowing toward her. The princess picked it up and brought it back to her house and put it on her bedside. Then she became pregnant and gave birth to a boy. When the boy grew up, his grandfather, Kamo-Taketsunumi-no-Mikoto, held a feast for seven days and seven nights. He gave his grandson a cup of Sake, or Japanese wine, and told him to let the one whom he thought his father drink the Sake. The son raised the cup and performed worship toward the heaven then broke through the roof and climbed to the heaven.

Then, the grandfather named him Kamo-no-Wakeikazuchi-no-Kami that means Kamo's Young God of Thunder. The red arrow was said to be Ho-no-Ikazuchi-no-Kami, or the god of fire and thunder.

The shrine that is dedicated to Kamo-Wakeikazuchi-no-Kami is Kamo-Wakeikazuchi-Jinja which is commonly known as Kamigamo-jinja , or upper Kamo Shrine. The shrine for the mother and the grandfather of Kamo-Wakeikazuchi-no-Kami is Shimogamo-jinja.

How to get to Shimogamo-jinja

10 minutes of walk from Keihan Railway Line Demachiyanagi station.
About 30 minutes from Kyoto Station to Shimogamo-jinja Mae Bus Stop on Kyoto City Bus No. 4 or No. 205.

Hours and Admission

08:00-18:00

Admission is free.

Photos/Pictures

Click on photos for full images.

The first Torii gateway Kawai-jinja Tadasu-no-mori woods.
The first Torii gateway, a few minutes of walk from Demachiyanagi Station. On the right of the photo is a stone marker on which the name of the shrine is inscribed
June 2, 2001
Kawai-jinja, a sub-shrine of Shimogamo-jinja.
June 2, 2001
The approach to Shimogamo-jinja in Tadasu-no-mori woods.
June 2, 2001
Torii gateway Ro-mon gate Backside of Ro-mon gate
Torii gateway.
June 2, 2001
Ro-mon gate.
June 2, 2001
Backside of Ro-mon gate. A newly-married couple and their families and relatives are posing for a picture.
June 2, 2001
Bu-den seen through Romon gate Bu-den and Shinpuku-den Shinpuku-den
Bu-den seen through Romon gate.
June 2, 2001
A newly-married couple and their families and relatives are walking beside Bu-den toward Romon gate for a photo session.
June 2, 2001
A bride is climbing on the steps to Shinpuku-den hall.
June 2, 2001
Mitarashi-gawa stream and Hoso-dono Inoue-sha and Mitarashi-no-ike pond Carp swimming in Mitarashi-no-ike pond
Mitarashi-gawa stream is in the middle of the photo. Hoso-dono hall is on the left and Romon gate is on the right.
June 2, 2001
Inoue-sha and Mitarashi-no-ike pond. This pond is the source of Mitarashi-gawa stream.
June 2, 2001
Carp swimming in Mitarashi-no-ike pond.
June 2, 2001
Soribashi bridge over Mitarashi-gawa stream One of the twin main halls A cutaway model of a shrine building's roof
Soribashi bridge over Mitarashi-gawa stream.
June 2, 2001
One of the twin main halls is seen through a window of Hei-den.
June 2, 2001
A cutaway model of a shrine building's roof.
June 2, 2001
Kara-mon gate Oi-dono, a kitchen Kitchen ranges in Oi-dono
Kara-mon gate.
June 2, 2001
Oi-dono, a kitchen.
June 2, 2001
Kitchen ranges in Oi-dono.
June 2, 2001
The gate of Mitsui-jinja Three identical main buildings of Mitsui-jinja
The gate of Mitsui-jinja, a subsidiary shrine in the precinct of Shimogamo-jinja.
June 2, 2001
Three identical main buildings of Mitsui-jinja.
June 2, 2001