Nagare-zukuri style (流造)

Nagare-zukuri style is an architectural style of Japanese shrines.


The nagare-zukuri style, which is represented by Kamowakeikazuchi-jinja Shrine (Kamigamo-jinja Shrine) and Kamomioya-jinja Shrine (Shimogamo-jinja Shrine), is an advanced variation of the Shinmei-zukuri style, which is represented by Ise-jingu Shrine. The style is characterized by a long-extending, curved front slope of the warped roof, which constitutes a kohai (eave).
This is the most popular architectural style among Japanese shrines


The nagare-zukuri style employs a kirizuma-zukuri/hirairi structure, and its roof forms a graceful curve similar to that of taisha-zukuri style. This makes the nagare-zukuri style different from the shinmei-zukuri style, which is characterized by its straight external appearance.


Unlike the shinmei-zukuri style, the roof is not only thatched but also covered with a variety of materials, such as kokeras (thin plates of wood), cypress bark shingles, etc.

Each of the gables of the roof is decorated with a gegyo (decoration board) and forms a graceful curve.

The slope of the roof is not steep. The roof is characterized by a long curve which smoothly extends forward from the minoko (curved surface portion for adjustment) to the kohai.


Similar to the shinmei-zukuri style, the nagare-zukuri style is bilaterally symmetric, and an even number of columns are provided in the width direction.

Round columns and chamfered rectangular columns are respectively used for the building and the kohai, and a funahijiki (horizontal member) is provided on each of the rectangular columns.

When the ketayuki (the distance between columns in the width direction) is one ken (1.8182 m) (the number of columns is two), it is called ikkensha-nagare-zukuri style, and when the distance is three kens (5.4546 m), it is called sangensha-nagare-zukuri style (the number of columns is four).


An opening with a butterfly formation door is provided in the central portion of the front wall.


A hamayuka floor is provided at the height of the groundsill, and a building floor is provided at the height of the staircase.

History of nagare-zukuri style

Because it is an advanced variation of the shinmei-zukuri style, its history is not long. The oldest surviving nagare-zukuri style building is the honden (main hall) of Ujigami-jinja Shrine, which was built in the latter half of the Heian period.

[Original Japanese]