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“surprisingly fabulous”
Review of Shimogamo Jinja

Shimogamo Jinja
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Half Day Kyoto Stroll with a Private Photographer
Ranked #33 of 1,107 things to do in Kyoto
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Oakland, California
Level Contributor
72 reviews
47 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“surprisingly fabulous”
Reviewed 24 April 2014

I loved it from the small shrine for beauty to the large shrine with different small shrines for prayer to a torii gate, a curved bridge and cherry blossoms and flowing stream, what more could you ask for?

Took lots of photos, I was glad I went..

Visited April 2014
1 Thank boscoblake
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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725 reviews from our community

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English first
Level Contributor
152 reviews
81 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
“Tall majestic trees in forest”
Reviewed 6 January 2014

Lamenting the autumn leaves at Eikando were all but over, the hotel suggested Shimogamo -Ji. It was a splendid suggestion as it wasn't on my list of places to visit, so it was serendipitous.
Walking through the forest of tall majestic trees all in its autumnal splendour there was a sense of beauty, peace and joy. The vermillion torii and various shrines are impressive and varied.
Despite its distance from the subway, and despite the wet and cold day, I liked this place a lot.

Visited December 2013
1 Thank birdcagewalking
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Minsk, Belarus
Level Contributor
12 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Good experience”
Reviewed 25 October 2013

The Simogamo shrine is not your usual point of interest, so to get there you need to take the subway and then walk some. At first I was skeptical but I ended up enjoying it. We were lucky because we visited it during the festivals and there were plenty to see such as the sights of horseback archery ritual. This is perfect for somebody who wants a quiet time in the woods of Tadasu, or why not rent a bike and go for a spin. Overall I had a good experience and I recommend it especially if you are with kids.

Visited September 2013
Thank Elmer P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Shimogamo Shrine (下鴨神社) in Kyoto: Founded in the 6th Century!”
Reviewed 9 September 2013

We visited Shimogamo Shrine on the same day as we did Kamigamo, since they both had festivals and are twin temples. The shrine is situated slightly more down towards the city in a beautiful forest with majestic trees that would make you think it would be an enjoyable place to visit in the summer.

There is a torii leading to the temple, flanked by the usual lion statues, and as you enter the sandoo there is a smaller shrine about 100meters down to your left which is dedicated to Kamochoumei no Tadasuno Yashiro. This smaller temple has its own torii and a massive wooden gate leading to the inner temple area.

Continuing down the path to the main temple, you will see another torii, then yet another one beyond which is the gate to the outer courtyards of the Honden. Directly in front of the torii is the Maidono. On your right is the temizuya where you purify your hands and mouth (No drinking!), and on you left is the small Aioi-sha shrine and Sasaki tree. This shrine is dedicated to the god of good marriage and the guardian of engagement, Kamumusubi no Kami; a perfectly romantic spot! Further on and left is the sonaemono – a display of gifts of rice and sake to the temple. Going further in to the right you will see a peaceful river with a typical, tradition Japanese bridge spanning its width, decorated on either side by sakura trees. This is undoubtedly an ideal spot to take pictures of in the spring.

On the actual main grounds – which you can get to by just going straight from the Maidono – there are many shrines – Shinbukuden, Ooidono Hall, Kawai Shrine, Mikage Shrine, Mitsui Shrine, Izumo Ioheno Shrine, Koto Shrine, Mitarashi Shrine, Hosodono, Reiji-sha Shrine, Aka-no-Miya, and the Adzukariya Shrine. There is also a wedding ground where Shinto weddings can be held – applications for weddings are held outside the temple. If you’re lucky, you just might be able to see a real wedding take place!

This whole structure is surrounded by beautiful, tranquil forests where you can just feel yourself soaking in the calm atmosphere. It is definitely worth your visit. There are also many festivals held here in Shimogamo Shrine, and among the most famous is Aoi Matsuri. The Aoi Matsuri, or “Hollyhock Festival,” is one of the three main annual festivals held in Kyoto, Japan. It is a festival of the two Kamo shrines in the north of the city, Shimogamo Shrine and Kamigamo Shrine. The festival may also be referred to as the Kamo Festival.

According to the ancient historical record known as the Nihon Shoki, the festival originated during the reign of Emperor Kinmei (r. A.D. 539, 12th month, 5th day – 571, 4th month, 15th day). The ancient records known as the Honchō getsurei and Nenchūgyōji hissho reveal that a succession of disastrous rain and wind had ruined the grain crops, and epidemics had spread through the country. Because diviners placed the cause as owing to the divine punishment of the Kamo deities, the emperor sent his messenger with a retinue to the shrine to conduct various acts to appease the deities, in prayer for a bountiful harvest. These included riding a galloping horse.

Visited October 2012
3 Thank KyotoDreamTrips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Berkeley, California
Level Contributor
576 reviews
258 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 256 helpful votes
“Out of the way but worth it”
Reviewed 24 July 2013

One of the nice things about the out of the way temples is that there are fewer crowds and they are less likely to be fees to see them. This is one example. This shrine is is located in a small park and when we visited they were setting up for a festival. A nice place to get away from large temple going crowds.

Visited July 2013
Thank Retinol13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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