Kamigamo Shrine in Kyoto Display Ancient Japanese History | FAST JAPAN
Kamigamo Shrine in Kyoto

Kamigamo Shrine in Kyoto Display Ancient Japanese History

Kamigamo Shrine in Kyoto is rich with history and it's a World Heritage Site. Come see different festivals every month and try local cuisine. Walk around to discover ancient Japanese history.

#1. UNESCO World Heritage Site

Kamigamo Shrine in Kyoto

Kamigamo Shrine is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto. It’s located in northwest Kyoto and lies up against the northern hills. It’s a bit far from the city center so that often means a less-crowded sightseeing place. “Kamo Wake Ikazuchi” is enshrined as a deity in the shrine. “Kamo Wake Ikazuchi” is the young powerful God of thunder, the shrine is known for warding off evil or being a guardian deity of electricity.


#2. Historical Festivals and Market

Aoi Festival
Photo Credit:Nullumayulife@flickr

At Kamigamo Shrine, historical festivals are held every month on specific days. If you have already decided which month to visit, check what festivals are going to be held that month. Aoi Matsuri, Hollyhock Festival is the most famous one and it’s one of the three major imperial festivals in Japan. It is said that the festival started during the reign of Emperor Kinmei in 544, now it is held on May 15th every year. During Aoi Matsuri, the procession of people in historical Japanese outfits can be seen. The procession is 800 meters long and 500 people participate it. Admission is free and paid seating is also available. A market with handmade items is held on the forth Sunday of every month. There are always about 60 stalls at the market selling all kinds of handmade goods.


#3. Tatesuna

Tatesuna in Kamigamo Shrine

In the precinct, “Tatesuna” attracts your attention. Tatesuna has two large sand constructions which represent the sacred mountains to the north where the god descended from the heavens. The Hosodono Hall is a worship hall toward the back, the scenery of Tatesuna and the worship hall is extremely beautiful.


#4. The God of Marriage

Kataoka-sha, Kamigamo Shrine

There is also “Kataoka-sha” in the precinct. It is known as a shrine of love and it is famous among young women and couples. It is also said that Murasaki Shikibu, a Japanese novelist at the Imperial court during the Heian period (794-1185) worshiped the God of Marriage. The heart-shaped Ema are being sold at the shrine. Ema are small wooden plaques for people to write their prayers or wishes. There’s a place to hang Ema because people are wishing for good matches or success in love.


#5. Roasted Rice Cake

Roasted Rice Cake, Yaki mochi
Photo Credit:hiro@flickr

Have you ever tried a “yaki mochi”, roasted rice cake in Japan? Rice cakes has been regarded as food for ceremonial occasions and also known as a symbol of longevity. If you visit Kamigamo Shrine, don’t miss the local sweets.

There are two famous yaki mochi stores called “Jimbado” and “Aoiya” near the shrine. Jimbado is open from 7 AM until supplies run out. There are always lines in front of the shop during the festival seasons. It is better to be there as soon as possible.
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Address: 339 Kamigamohonzan, Kita Ward, Kyo City, Kyoto Prefecture

Access: 3 minute walk from Kamigamo Shrine

Hours: 7:30 AM – 6:00 PM

Phone: 075-781-1594


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Address: 4 Kamigamomisonocho, Kita Ward, Kyo City, Kyoto Prefecture

Access: 3 minute walk from Kamigamo Shrine

Hours: 7:00 AM – 6:00 PM
*Closed when items sell out

Phone: 075-781-1377


#6. Kamigamo Shake Machi

Kamigamo Shake Machi

There is a line of historical residences along the stream running out from Kamigamo Shrine. This area is called Shake Machi and you can enjoy walking around. In the Shake Machi area, there is a beautiful Japanese Garden in Nishimura Villa called “Nishimura-ke” which is located 4 minutes away from the Kamigamo Shrine. The villa is has traditional priest’s house and the garden was made in the late Heian period (1068-1185).

The beautiful rock arrangements, a deep-drilled well, and a stream can be seen. The stream was made for a banquet, called “Kyokusui no En”. Kyokusui no En is a banquet in which the members who sat along the stream had to make up poetry before the floating cup of sake reached their position. The banquet was popular during the Heian period.
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Kamigamo Shrine

Address: 339 Kamigamohonzan, Kita Ward, Kyo City, Kyoto Prefecture

25 minute walk from Kitayama Station
Then bus from Kitayama Station to Kamigamojinjamae Station (route 4 or 46)

Hours: 5:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Admission Fee: 500 yen (In case you go into Honden)

Phone: 075-781-0011

Website: Kamigamo Shrine


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