Kamigamo-jinja Shrine 上賀茂神社
One of the sacred hearts of Kyoto, and a spiritual and social hub
Located about three and a half kilometers upriver from neighboring Shimogamo-jinja Shrine , Kamigamo-jinja Shrine and its spacious grounds are surrounded by a quiet neighborhood waiting to be explored.
The shrine grounds host a handicrafts market on the fourth Sunday of every month
Legend says the white horse at the shrine's entrance was once used to deliver messages to the gods
One of Kyoto's biggest festivals, Aoi Matsuri, is hosted at the two Kamo shrines
How to Get There
The shrine site is easily accessible by local trains and buses.
Kamigamo-jinja Shrine is a 30-minute walk from Demachiyanagi Station. It's also just a 15-minute walk from Kitayama Station on the Karasuma subway line. From Kyoto Station , the no. 9 local bus will get you to the area in around 45 minutes to an hour.
Kyoto's oldest shrine, and one of its largest
Kamigamo-jinja is said to have been built at the end of the 7th century, even before the founding of Kyoto itself. The grounds of the shrine are massive, spanning approximately 660,000 square meters, encompassing even the mountain that sits behind it.
Home to one of Kyoto's biggest festivals
Every May the shrine hosts one of Kyoto's three main festivals, the Aoi Matsuri . The festival's main event is the parade from the Imperial Palace to the Kamo shrines and features over 500 participants dressed up in the aristocratic style of the Heian period (794-1185).
Explore the quiet and charming neighborhood
The shrine is surrounded by white earthen walls with stone foundations, which make up the neighborhood of traditional houses where Shinto priests affiliated with the shrine once lived. The national government has named it an Important Traditional Residential Area. At least one of the houses is open to the public.