Let's continue our tour of the temples and shrines worth visiting in Kyoto, with the Shinto Kamo set of two shrines: Kamigamo (upper) and Shimogamo (lower), two kilometers away. Located north of Kyoto, on the verge of the Kamogawa River, the Kamo-jinja are both listed as World Heritage by UNESCO.
Built in 678, more than a hundred years before Kyoto became imperial capital of Japan (794), Kami-gamo is dedicated to the kami / god of thunder.
It's also known by its official name: Kamo-jinja Wakeikazuchi.
Its official foundation date isn't known, but it dates back to the sixth century, a hundred years before Kami-gamo, making Shimo-gamo one of the oldest Shinto shrines in Japan. It worships the Kamo Wakeikazuchi's mother, Kamo Tamayori-hime and her own father, Kamo Taketsune. It's also known by its official name: Kamo-mioya Jinja.
Shimogamo is located in the "forest of the truth," Tadasu no Mori, a primeval forest that has supposedly never been maintained and has yet survived several fires.
How to get to Kamigamo
Bus #4 or 46, Kamigamojinja-mae station (terminal)
Location unreachable with the JR Pass
Get there with a rental car
Open every day
From 8am to 5pm from April to October
From 8:30am to 5pm from November to March
Kamo-Wakeikazuchi jinja (official name)