Kamigamo Shrine

上賀茂神社   Click to listen highlighted text! 上賀茂神社

(Kamigamo Jinja)

Kamigamo Shrine is a Shinto shrine located in Kyoto, Japan, and is one of the oldest shrines in the city. The shrine is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is considered to be one of the most important cultural assets in the area. The history of the shrine dates back over a thousand years, and it has been a center of worship for the local people for generations.

The shrine was first built in the 7th century, during the Heian period, and was dedicated to the god of thunder and the god of water. It was said that these gods protected the city from natural disasters and brought good fortune to the people. The shrine was expanded and renovated over the centuries, and today it covers an area of over 13 hectares, including several buildings and gardens.

The architecture of the shrine is typical of the Heian period, with buildings that are characterized by simple and elegant designs. The main hall of the shrine, known as the honden, is a National Treasure of Japan and is considered to be one of the finest examples of Heian period architecture in the country.

The shrine is also famous for its annual festival, the Aoi Matsuri, which takes place every year on May 15th. This festival has been held for over 1,000 years and is one of the oldest and most important festivals in Kyoto. The festival includes a procession of people dressed in traditional Heian period costumes, as well as horseback riders and musicians.

In addition to the main shrine buildings, there are several smaller shrines and structures located on the grounds of the Kamigamo Shrine. These include the smaller Kamo Shrine, which is dedicated to the gods of water and fire, and the Toro Lantern Garden, which features dozens of stone lanterns that were donated to the shrine by worshippers over the centuries.

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