Kamigamo-jinja Shrine, the oldest shrine in Kyoto. Sha-ke, the residential quarters of the Shinto priests, rest on stone foundations.
Kamigamo in Kita-ku is located along the Kamo-gawa River that runs north to south through the city of Kyoto.
Kamigamo-jinja Shrine is the oldest shrine in Kyoto, along with Shimogamo-jinja which was built in the latter half of the 7th century, and it has been designated a World Cultural Heritage Site. In its vast grounds stand over 34 structures, including the famous Honden and Gonden halls. The Aoi-matsuri Festival, which started in the mid-6th century, is one of the three major festivals in Kyoto, and is held in early summer. It is a traditional event held to pray for a good harvest.
Along the Myojin-gawa River, flowing to the north of Kamigamo-jinja Shrine, stands around 30 sha-ke, the homes of Shinto priests built on stone foundations and enclosed with white earthen walls. The area is designated an Important Preservation District for Groups of Historic Buildings. To the east of Kamigamo-jinja Shrine, surrounded by mountains on three sides, is the Midoro-ga-ike Pond, which is about one kilometer in circumference, where water plants such as 'junsai' (water shield) and 'kingyo-mo' (a kind of aquatic herb) grow in mass. It is an excellent spot for visitors to enjoy bird watching.
From Tokyo :
[Rail] 2h 15 min to Kyoto Station by JR Tokaido Shinkansen Line 'Nozomi,' or 2h 45 min by 'Hikari.' 30 min from Kyoto Station to Kamigamo Misono-bashi by bus.
From Osaka :
[Rail] 28 min to Kyoto Station by JR Tokaido Line (new rapid service).