the park called tadasu-no-mori (糺の森) surrounds kamomioya shrine (賀茂御祖神社), also commonly called shimogamo shrine (下鴨神社), in northern kyoto. kamomioya jinja is actually one half of the much larger complex called kamo shrine (賀茂神社). this is the lower shrine along the kamo river (鴨川), while the upper shrine is kamigamo shrine (上賀茂神社). both shrines together serve to protect kyoto from evil forces that were believed to come down the kamo river from the devil’s gate (鬼門 – kimon).
kamomioya shrine is one of japan’s oldest shinto shrines and it houses the second highest ranking god in japan. additionally, held on may 15th of every year, the aoi matsuri (festival) at kamomioya shrine is the oldest of the three largest imperial festivals in kyoto.
because of the nice park immediately south of kamomioya shrine, visiting this area is nice any time of the year. but during the fall foliage it is especially beautiful. it’s the park that makes this UNESCO world heritage site quite different from most japanese shrines on the list. easy to reach, the southern end of the park surrounding the shrine is close to demachiyanagi station (出町柳駅), the last stop on the keihan otosen line (京阪鴨東線). admission is free.
short video clip. sorry, i forgot to film the park.
the shrine’s location:
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