More than 200 years before Kyoto would be named the capital of Japan in 794, construction on the Shimogamo Shrine began. One of the most important Shinto shrines in Japan and one of the 17 Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Shimogamo Jinja rests at the intersection of the Takano and Kamo rivers in the midst of 600 year old trees in the ancient Tadasu no Mori forest.
Throughout the more than 1,000 years that Kyoto reigned as Japan's capital city, the Imperial Court patronized the Shimogamo Shrine and its neighbor, Kamigamo Shrine, to bring food fortune, protection, and prosperity to the city. Today, the 53 buildings in the shrine complex provide a respite from city life, welcoming visitors into a natural setting where peace and tranquility abound.
Kyoto City Bus number 4 runs directly from Kyoto Station to the Shimogamojinja-mae bus stop beside the shrine. The bus takes 5 minutes and costs 220 yen ($3USD). Alternatively, the shrine is a 15 minutes walk from Demachi-Yanagi Station on the Kehan Line. The shrine hours are 6:00am-5:00pm year-round, and the entrance fee is 500 yen ($5USD).