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Shimogamo Shrine - Kyoto

Located in 59 Shimogamo Izumigawa-cho, Sakyu ward, Kyoto City in Kyoto Prefecture, Shimogamo Shrine (下鴨神社) is one of the 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Kyoto.
下鴨神社


Shimogamo History

Formally called Kamo-mioya-jinja, Shimogamo Shrine is one of the oldest Shinto shrines in Japan. The shrine is traditionally linked to a sister shrine called Kamigamo Shrine and the two are referred to as the Kamo-jinja. However, Shimogamo Shrine is the older of the two and is believed to have been built sometime in the 6th century before Heian-kyo (Kyoto City) became the capital of Japan. Going back, the two shrines were designated as chief Shinto shrine (inchinomiya) for the former Yamashiro Province. The shrines function as "protection" of the capital from malign influences.

Tadasu no Mori

下鴨神社
Ichi-no-Torii leading to the shrine

Check out the boat-shaped chozuya

Now, focusing on Shimogamo Shrine, it is dedicated to the veneration of Tamayori-hime (spirit-inviting maiden) and her father Kamo Taketsunomi. From 1871 to 1946, Shimogamo Shrine was officially designated as one of the Kanpei-taisha or shrines supported by the government. Throughout time, Shimogamo Shrine has been graced by several Imperial visits. These are:
  • Emperor Kanmu in 794
  • Emperor Suzaku in 942
  • Emperor En'yu in 979
  • Emperor Horikawa in 1088
  • Emperor Go-Shirakawa in 1156
Things to see in Shimogamo Shrine:
The Romon

Aioisha

The Komo-daru or decorative sake barrels

Zodiac Ema... Choose your birth year when buying one

Going to the shrine proper through the Naka-mon or Middle Gate

The Honden

check out those sake bottles offered in the shrine

Some Kotosha or sub-shrines

The ema rack with the wishes of its visitors

Can you guess what was the Zodiac when we visited?

Mitarashi-sha

The Hashi-dono or bridge hall the bridges around it... The Tama-hashi bridge is seen at the far right side of the photo


The Maido-no or Dance Hall with the Shinbukuden or clothing hall at its background

We got to visit Shimogamo Shrine during our fourth day in Kyoto City. However, it was only me who explored the shrine complex as my wife and our friend Gil got a lot of catching up to do after 10 years of not seeing each other. What I love about Shimogamo Shrine aside from the rustic feel was the fact that it was surrounded by nature. I actually spent quite some time reflecting here while listening to the chirping birds and insects create a harmonious melody that gives out an aura of calmness. I also did not miss out on the chance of getting a goshuin here for my collection.
Shimogamo Shrine goshuin

There they are... found them just as where I left them

Overall, Shimogamo Shrine is a must-visit not only for nature lovers, pilgrims, and history buffs but also for those looking for a place where one can get in touch with his inner self.

Shimogamo Shrine Admission Fee:

It is free to explore the Shimogamo Shrine grounds. You can donate in any of the coin boxes found in the honden and numerous sub-shrines.

Shimogamo Shrine Opening Hours:

Shimogamo Shrine is open from 6:30AM to 5PM every day.

Getting to Shimogamo Shrine:


You can ride either one of these Kyoto City Buses; #1, #3, #4, #17, #102, #201 or #203 and board down at Damachiyanagi bus stop. From there, the shrine is just a 6-10 minute walk away.

You can also ride Kyoto City bus #1, #7, or #205 then board down at Aoibashi Nishidume bus stop. From there, walk through the Tadasu-no-Mori Forest towards the shrine.

Ratings:
Crowd
Cleanliness
Overall rating

Comments

  1. I seriously can't wait to get to Japan and explore Kyoto which has been on my list for a long time. This shine looks so beautiful

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    Replies
    1. I'm very excited to read or see you adventure post about Japan. I do hope you could visit Shimogamo Shrine in your visit.

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  2. when i visit Kyoto, i´ll come back to this post ! to read the full details, thanks for sharing

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    1. Thank you Debora. Please don't forget to visit Shimogamo Shrine.

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  3. To be honest I am not into zodiac and shrines kind of person but your review made me feel that I should visit there. Only even if for fun or vacay.

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    1. That'll still be great. I hope you get to visit Shimogamo Shrine someday.

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  4. I would love to see these in person. Beautiful shrines!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you. Please do visit this shrine when you are in Kyoto City.

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  5. This place is beautiful. I love the history behind it as well.

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    1. Thank you Danielle. Hope you could visit this place too someday.

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  6. I would love to visit the shrine. So lovely! Keshia Richmond

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  7. Very fantastic Article. Nice and Informative.

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  8. Oh I have been dying to go to Kyoto! This temple is so pretty. The bright red stands out in ever photo!

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  9. Wow! This looks amazing! It's definitely something I'll be adding to my travel "bucket list!"

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  10. I like reading your blog because you give emphasis even on small details. Your Japan stories are more reliable compared to many touristic blog I am reading from other Pinoy travel bloggers.

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  11. I haven't been to this shrine but I check it out!

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    1. That's great please do visit Shimogamo Shrine when you're in Kyoto City.

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  12. Images are making sense and they are helpful. That is helpful for all and there anythings mentioned which carries many informative things.

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  13. Oh my! Wish to visit this beautiful place some day

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you do get to visit Shimogamo Shrine someday. =)

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  14. Your photos are so amazing! I would love to visit and use this as a guide one day!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Danielle. I hope you get to visit Shimogamo Shrine someday.

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  15. Asia has the most interesting countries to visit. No joke.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well that's true. You should visit the Philippines too.

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  16. I am really a great fan of your Japan series, very informative and well laid out. Thanks for always sharing worthwhile travel posts.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Sheena. =) Please do visit my blog for more of my Japan series.

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  17. That’s pretty cool. The guide have anythings which are really awesome for the peoples. There anythings are mentioned which are useful.

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  18. I'm glad you had a lot of fun in Japan. And thanks always for your contributions! We're all going through tough times but hopefully things will be back to normal again around fall.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Toru! I'm very positive Japan will be back after this pandemic. Your country is blessed with so many places to visit and see. I, for one, is one of those lining up to revisit Japan. :)

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