Located about three and a half kilometers upriver from neighboring Shimogamo Shrine, Kamigamo Shrine and its spacious grounds are surrounded by a quiet neighborhood just 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, the Aoi Matsuri, is hosted at the two Kamo shrines
The shrine site is easily accessible by local trains and buses.
Kamigamo Shrine is a 30-minute walk from Demachi-Yanagi Station. It’s also just a 15-minute walk from Kitayama Station on the Karasuma subway line. From Kyoto Station, the number 9 local bus will get you to the area in around 45 minutes to an hour.
Kamigamo is said to have been built at the end of the seventh century, even before the founding of Kyoto itself. The grounds of the shrine are simply massive, spanning approximately 660,000 square meters, encompassing even the mountain that sits behind it.
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).
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.