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Kamigamo Shrine / 上賀茂神社(京都)

2013.08.16 [PLACES,WHAT'S NEW]

Kamigamo Shrine / 上賀茂神社(京都)

Kamigamo Shrine is the oldest Shinto shrine in Kyoto, and among the oldest in Japan. Founded in 678
to deify the ancestors of the Kamo clan who had long held this region. The formal name of the shrine
is Kamo-wakeikazuchi, and is also said to house the father and mother of the Great Gods. Once the
capital had been established at Heian-Kyo (Kyoto) the shrine was revered as the protective god of the
imperial city.


The crest of the Kamigamo Shrine features the leaves of the hollyhock, and was said to have inspired
the Tokugawa clan who use a similar crest. Tokugawa Ieyasu is said to have had deep respect for this
shrine, which, in 1994,along with a number of Kyoto shrines and temples, was made a World Heritage Site.








Shrine Precincts / 境内

The huge vermillion Torii gate is an impressive site, and takes you into a sacred world. Upon entering,
the wide open space, where the Aoi Festival is staged, allows visitors to calm their minds and compose
themselves before making their supplications. This open space also hosts a “Hand Made Market” on the
4th Sunday of every month, which continues to draw great crowds.






On passing through the second torii gate, visitors find themselves before the main worship hall, with two
large cones of sand displayed out front. These mark the spot where the god of the Kamigamo Shrine is
said to have descended to earth. The contrast of shadow and light on the cones throughout the day are
said to be one of the highlights of a visit to the shrine.






Behind this is the main worship hall, reconstructed in 1863 and listed as a National Treasure. There are
many other historical structures within the vast shrine grounds dating back to 1628 worth investigating.


さらに奥へと進むと、1863年に建造され、国宝に指定されている本殿と権殿があります。上賀茂神社の その他の





The weeping cherry tree found between the first and second torii gates is also very famous.







Rituals and Events / 神事・イベント

One of Kyoto’s most famous festivals is the Aoi Festival, or the Kamo Festival. Recognized as one of
Kyoto’s Big Three festivals, the Aoi Festival is held every May 15 at the Kamigamo and Shimogamo
Shrines. Over 500 people take part in the elegant procession recreating the departure from the Kyoto
Old Palace by the Heian period aristocracy, and passing from the Shimogamo to the Kamigamo Shrine.
It is certainly one of Kyoto’s biggest attractions and well worth seeing.


出発し、 総勢500名以上の風雅な行列が下鴨神社を経て、上賀茂神社へと向かいます。この時期に京都を訪れる




Other attractions include the Mushashinji, a ceremony every January 16 in which the word for demon, or
Oni is written on the back of archery targets and shot at in order to dispel bad luck. Natsugoshi Oharai
(Photo) held every six months in January and June to purify against evil spirits, and to bring in luck for the
remaining six months of the year.Like the Grand Shrine of Ise, the Kamigamo Shrine is regularly reconstructed. 
2015 will see the 42nd rebuilding.


そのほか、1月16日「武射神事(むしゃじんじ)」※ 裏に「鬼」と書かれた的を射て年中の邪気を祓う行事




View Larger Map

Address ;
339 Kamigamo Motoyama Kita Ku Kyoto City ,Kyoto


Access; By City Bus or Kyoto Bus, get off at KamigoJinja Mae stop.
              By subway, from Kitaoji or 「北山」Kitayama Stations. The shrine will be 5 minutes by car or taxi. 



Open; 10:00~16:00


Admission; Free, although admission to the National Treasure is 500 Yen 



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