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Home - Travel - Sightseeing Guide - Kansai - Kyoto - Northern Kyoto
Kamo Shrines 
# 31   of 59 most visited
sights in Kyoto

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Shimogamo Shrine

The Kamo Shrines, Shimogamo Shrine and Kamigamo Shrine, are both recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. They are two of the most important and oldest shrines in Kyoto.

In fact, the Kamo Shrines even predate the city's establishment as national capital in 794. Throughout the thousand years that Kyoto served as Japan's capital city, the Imperial Court patronized the shrines as establishments dedicated to the city's protection and prosperity.

Shimogamo Shrine (下賀茂神社, Shimogamo Jinja, "Lower Kamo Shrine") is located at the junction of the Takano and Kamo rivers. It is surrounded by the Tadasu no Mori, a forest which was preserved during the modernization of the city and contains trees that are up to 600 years old.

Shimogamo Shrine

Kamigamo Shrine (上賀茂神社, Kamigamo Jinja, "Upper Kamo Shrine") stands about three and a half kilometers upriver from Shimogamo Shrine. It is well known for two sand cones on its grounds that serve a purification function for the shrine, and have been made ritually since ancient times.

The Kamo Shrines jointly hold one of Kyoto's three biggest festivals, the Aoi Matsuri. Every May 15th at 10:30am, a large procession dressed in the style of the Heian court leaves from the Imperial Palace, continues to Shimogamo, and ends the day at Kamigamo. Both shrines also host other smaller festivals throughout the year.

Construction Notice: Kamigamo Shrine's main building is currently undergoing renovation works that are periodically carried out every 21 years (instead of a full rebuilding of the shrine). During the renovation works, the building is covered up by a large scaffolding structure. The works are scheduled for completion in 2015.

Kamigamo Shrine

Any Questions? Ask them in our question forum.

How to get there
Shimogamo Shrine is a 15 minute walk from Demachi-Yanagi Station on the Keihan Line. Alternatively, Kyoto City Bus number 4 bound for Kamigamojinja-mae can be taken from the station to Shimogamojinja-mae bus stop (5 minutes, 230 yen) directly beside the shrine.

Kamigamo Shrine can be reached in 30 minutes from Demachi-Yanagi Station or Shimogamo Shrine by Kyoto City Bus number 4 (230 yen). Get off at the last stop, Kamigamojinja-mae. Alternatively, the shrine can be reached in a 15 minute walk from Kitayama Station on the Karasuma Subway Line.

How to get to and around Kyoto

Hours and Fees
Shimogamo Shrine
Hours:5:30 to 18:00 (summer)
6:30 to 17:00 (winter)
Closed:No closing days
Admission:Free

Kamigamo Shrine
Hours:8:00 to 17:00 (from 8:30 from November through March)
Closed:No closing days
Admission:Free

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Hotels and Ryokan
Kyoto offers a wide range of accommodation for all budgets and tastes, including historic ryokan, Western style hotels and low-budget hostels. Among the most attractive districts to stay are the Kyoto Station area, the city center around Shijo Street and the Higashiyama District.
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Backpackers Hostel Ks House Kyoto
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Tours and Packages
Kyoto Tours
Various tours and travel packages for Kyoto and surroundings.

User Ratings
Ratings for Kamo Shrines:
japan-guide.com Rating:
  outstanding  
User Rating (by 212 users):
80/100
  recommended

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399.  Kitano Tenmangu (Kyoto)   80/100
400.  Hakkeijima (Yokohama)   80/100
401.  Kamo Shrines (Kyoto)   80/100
402.  Kagurazaka (Tokyo)   80/100
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English Links
Shimogamo Shrine
Official English website.
Kamigamo Shrine
Official English website.

Japanese Links
Shimogamo Shrine
Official website.
Kamigamo Shrine
Official website.

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