Shimogamo Jinja Shrine, together with Kamigamo Jinja Shrine, is definitory one of the most important shrines in Kyoto. Although it doesn’t have an outstanding photo spot like the vermilion torii gate of Fushimi Inari Shrine, its ancient history and forested environment are worth mentioning. In addition, 31 buildings, including the tower gate, dance hall, kimono hall, and four-legged middle gate, are important cultural properties. The two main shrine buildings are national treasures. The entire area is part of Kyoto’s World Heritage Site.
On special viewing days, you can enter areas that are normally off-limits and see the exterior and backside of the main shrines. However, you cannot take photos of main shrines.
The official name of Shimogamo Jinja Shrine is “Kamomioya Jinja”. Of the two main shrines, the west one is dedicated to “Kamatotaketsunumi no Mikoto”. His daughter, “Tamayorihime no Mikoto” is enshrined in the east main shrine. The “Kamowake Ikazuchi Okami” enshrined at Kamigamo Jinja Shrine is her son.
There is a ancient myth in which these three gods appear. This myth may be related to the Kamo clan, who lived in the northern part of Kyoto in ancient times. The myth is on the Kamigamo Jinja Shrine home page.
A natural forest stretches out at the entrance to the Shimogamo Jinja Shrine grounds. This is Tadasu-no-mori Forest.
Nearby spots from Shimogamo Jinja Shrine
Shusuisha is a museum that used to be the house of a priest who worked for Shimogamo Jinja. It’s located on the south side of the shrine, so please stop by if you have time.
Kawai Jinja Shrine
Kawai Jinja Shrine is a god of beauty.
Kamigamo Jinja Shrine
Kamigamo Jinja Shrine is also a part of ancient Kamo Shrine.