The Shimogamo Jinja Shrine, also known as Kamomioya-jinja Shrine, is together with its sister shrine Kamigamo Jinja, the family shrine of the Kamo clan, who inhabited this area before the transfer of the capital to Kyoto.
Shimogamo Jinja Shrine nestles between the fork of the Kamogawa and Takanogawa rivers and is surrounded by a shady path through an old scenic forest. With the rivers on both sides, and with several small streams flowing through the grounds, Shimogamo is refreshingly cool in summer, and many people stroll there day and night to enjoy the peaceful surroundings and the rich atmosphere of mystical purity.
The grounds of Shimogamo contain beautiful vermillion-colored wooden buildings, curving bridges over the little streams, and several smaller shrines. Shimogamo-jinja Shrine is the sister shrine of Kamigamo-jinja, which lies a few kilometers north, and together the two shrines host the annual Aoi Matsuri, a parade of people in period costume that is one of Kyoto’s three big annual festivals and a must-see if you are in the city on May 15th.
We enjoyed visiting this shrine during special events such as the Nagoshi no Shinji purification ceremony held in August.
Address: 59 Izumigawa-cho, Shimogamo, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto City
Access: 10-minute walk from Demachiyanagi Station on the Keihan Railway or Eizan Railway City Bus from Kitaoji Subway Station/JR Kyoto Station/Hankyu Kawaramachi Station to City Bus Stop Shimogamo-jinja
Hours: 6:00 – 17:00