Shimogamo Shrine Kyoto - Shimogamo Shrine is one of the oldest shrines in Japan and is a World Heritage Site.

Shimogamo Shrine, is part of pair of shrines known as the The Kamo Shrines, consisting of Kamigamo Jinja (上賀茂神社, lit. Upper Kamo Shrine) and Shimogamo Jinja (下鴨神社, lit. Lower Kamo Shrine). While they are a pair of shrines, they are not located together, but are around 2Km apart. They are among the oldest shrines in the Japan. Both shrines are dedicated to Kamo Wake-ikazuchi, the kami of thunder, and both feature prominently in the Aoi Festival, which occurs in May and involves a procession between the two shrines, horse races, and archery. Along with several other shrines, temples and castles in the city, they figure among the "Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto" designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

Shimogamo Shrine
Shimogamo Shrine

Shimogamo Shrine (Lower Kamo Shrine), further south, is believed to be 100 years older than Kamigamo Jinja, dating back to the 6th century. The shrine was later rebuilt to protect the capital city of Heian-kyo (as Kyoto was then called) when it was founded in 794. It has since become one of the key shrines in the area, being associated with prayers to ensure the success of the annual rice harvest. Shimogamo Shrine is located within Tadasu no Mori (糺の森), 'the forest of truth,' a primeval forest that is supposed to have never been burned or chopped down. The forest has in fact suffered some damage over the centuries, as Kyoto was burned during successive revolts and wars, but its growth has rebounded and is widely considered to be mainly natural, not pruned or planted by human beings. Shimogamo Shrine is also known as "Kamomioya Shrine" (賀茂御祖神社, kamomioya jinja).

Shimogamo Shrine
Shimogamo Shrine

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(Article based on Wikipedia article and used under the GNU Free Documentation License)

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