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World Heritage / Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto

Criteria: (ii) (iv) | Date of Inscription: 1994 | Location: Kyoto and Shiga Prefectures | Justification for Inscription


Things to see


Kamigamo Shrine is one of the oldest shrines in Kyoto and is comparable in age to Shimogamo Shrine. The Aoi Matsuri, ("Hollyhock Festival") on May 15th is the main annual event at this shrine and to witness it is similar to viewing the picture scroll of an ancient dynasty.

Originally, Kamigamo Shrine was founded to worship the ancestors of the Kamo family. This family had once been the rulers of the Yamashiro area (a part of ancient Kyoto) before the capital was brought to the area. The shrine's official name is Kamowakeikazuchi Shrine but it has been called Kamigamo Shrine since Kamomioya Shrine (Shimogamo Shrine) parted company with the shrine in the 8th century. Both shrines were routinely worshiped as the primary guardians of Heiankyo, (old name for Kyoto) but the current buildings of its Honden Hall and Gonden Hall are not as old as the origins of the shrine – both are 1863 reconstructions, albeit in the traditional style of the Heian period. Most of the shrines buildings are designated as national treasures and important cultural properties.
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