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Shimogamo-jinja Shrine
Shimogamo-jinja Shrine

Shimogamo-jinja Shrine

Daily 6am-5pm
Shimogamo Izumigawacho, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture

The basics

A towering vermilion torii (gate) marks the entrance to the Shimogamo-jinja Shrine, from where tree-lined walkways lead the way around the vast complex. There are more than 50 buildings to explore, including the Hondo (Main Building), the Maidono (Ceremonial Hall), and the two-storied Romon Gate. Leave yourself plenty of time to stroll around the scenic forest trails, bridges, and streams; cool off in the sacred waters of the Mitarashi Shrine; or leave a prayer at one of the shrines. Wandering around is all part of the charm, but visiting with a guide will fill you in on the shrine’s history, spiritual traditions, and cultural significance.

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Things to know before you go

  • Shimogamo-jinja Shrine is one of the most important shrines in Japan and a must for history buffs, first-time visitors to Kyoto, and those interested in Japanese culture and spirituality.
  • The shrine is free to enter and is accessible for wheelchairs and strollers.
  • There are a number of options for eating around the shrine, including a teahouse, restaurant, and a shop selling traditional Wagashi (Japanese Sweets).
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How to get there

Shimogamo Shrine is located in northern Kyoto. The closest train station is Demachiyanagi (Kehan Line), from where it’s about a 15-minute walk to the shrine. Alternatively, bus number 4 runs directly from Kyoto Station to the Shimogamojinja-mae bus stop right by the shrine entrance.

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Trip ideas

Kyoto Temple Guide

Kyoto Temple Guide


When to get there

The most memorable time to visit Shimogamo is during one of its many annual festivals. The most notable are Aoi Matsuri in May, which features parades and archery demonstrations; the Mitarashi Matsuri purification ceremony and Nagoshi-no-Shinji in August; and the traditional New Year celebrations. The shrine is open year-round but it’s at its prettiest in spring and autumn, when the forest colors are most vibrant.

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Kamigamo Shrine

Shimogamo is one of Kyoto’s two ‘Kamo Shrines’, the most important shrines in the city, which were built to bring food fortune, protection, and prosperity to the city. Kamigamo Shrine is located around two miles (3.5 kilometers) northwest of Shimogamo and many tours include visits to both temples. Dedicated to the God of Thunder, Kamigamo is known for its pair of tatesuna (sand cones), 19th-century Honden (sanctuary), and two-story Rōmon gate, as well as its annual Aoi Matsuri celebrations.

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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are the nearest attractions to Shimogamo-jinja Shrine?
Q:
What else should I know about attractions in Kyoto?
A:
As well as visiting the Shimogamo-jinja Shrine, check out these trip ideas to make the most of your visit: