Kamo-wakeikazuchi-jinja Shrine (賀茂別雷神社)

Kamo-wakeikazuchi-jinja Shrine is located in Kita Ward, Kyoto City. It is commonly known as Kamigamo-jinja Shrine (Upper Kamo Shrine). It was a Shikinaisha listed in the Register of Deities (Jimmyocho) of the Engishiki law as one of the ichi-no-miya (primary shrines) of the former Yamashiro province, one of The Twenty-Two Shrines, and was categorized as a Kampei Taisha (Great Imperial Shrine) under the previous shrine ranking system.

Along with Kamomioya-jinja Shrine (Shimogamo-jinja Shrine, or 'Lower Kamo Shrine') it enshrines ancient ujigami of the Kamo clan, and the pair generally being referred to as Kamo-jinja Shrine (Kamo-sha) and treated as paired shrines. Both Kamo-jinja Shrines are well known for the Kamo Festival (Aoi-matsuri Festival).

Kamigamo-jinja Shrine enshrines the Kamo clan ancestral deity Kamowakeikazuchi-no-mikoto. Wakeikazuchi' means 'young thunder' and signifies the god of thunder full youthful energy.

Additional structures: The Nishimura house


There are numerous theories regarding the establishment of the shrine. According to legend, Kamowakeikazuchi-no-mikoto descended to the Miaresho at the foot of Mt. Kamo-san during the reign of Emperor Jimmu. The ancient text "Yamashiro no Kuni Fudoki" tells that Tamayorihime became pregnant after placing on her bed a vermilion-lacquered arrow that flowed down from the upper reaches of Kamo-gawa River, and that when she gave birth to Kamowakeikazuchi-no-mikoto, he was enshrined by the Kamo territorial ruling family of Anitamayorihiko's descendants. The vermilion-lacquered arrow is said to be Ho-no-ikazuchi-no-kami (the god of fire and thunder) enshrined in Otokuni-jinja Shrine or Oyamakui-no-kami (the deity of Mount Hiei in Shiga Prefecture). Tamayorihime and her father Kamotaketsunumi-no-mikoto are enshrined within Shimogamo-jinja Shrine. The first mention in Japan's Six National Histories from March 21, 698 (Emperor Mommu's reign) states that horseback archery had been banned on the day of the Kamo Festival and we also know that the shrine was revered by the Imperial Court with an approximately 2.5 acre field being donated by the Emperor in 750.

After the capital was relocated to the city of Heian-Kyo in 794, the shrine became even more highly revered by the Imperial Court as a shrine for protection of the Imperial Palace and was granted the highest possible status, Shoichii (Senior First Rank) in 807, with the Kamo Festival being held by royal order. The Jimmyocho (register of deities) of the Engishiki law ranks it as a Myojin Taisha (a grand shrine that enshrines a high-ranked deity) and states that received offerings at each festival such as the Myojin-sai festival, Tsukinami-sai festival, Ainame-sai festival and Niname-sai festival. For approximately 400 years from 810, after the model of Saigu of Ise-jingu Shrine, Saiin was placed and unmarried imperial princesses served as Saio (priestesses) at the shrine.

The shrine was the first of the Kampei Taisha (Great Imperial Shrines) under the Meiji period integrated system of shrine ranks and second only to Ise-jingu Shrine, with it becoming a Chokusaisha (shrine attended by imperial envoy) in 1883.


January 16: Musha-jinji (archery ceremony)

May 5: Kurabe-uma-e-Jinji (The Ritual of the Racehorses)

May 12: Miare-jinji

May 15: Aoi-matsuri Festival

September 9th: Crow Sumo (wrestling ceremony)

November 13: Ainame-sai festival

Sessha shrines

Katayamamiko-jinja Shrine (Shikinaisha listed in Engishiki. Tamayorihime-no-mikoto)

Shingu-jinja Shrine (Takaokami-no-kami)
Ota-jinja Shrine (Shikinaisha listed in Engishiki. Ame-no-uzume-no-mikoto)

Wakamiya-jinja Shrine (Wakamiya-no-kami)
Nara-jinja Shrine (Naratoji-no-kami)
Kamoyamaguchi-jinja Shrine (Shikinaisha listed in Engishiki. Midoshi-no-kami)

Kuga-jinja Shirne (Shikinaisha listed in Engishiki. Kamotaketsunumi-no-mikoto)

Suwa-jinja Shrine (Shikinaisha listed in Engishiki. Asuha-no-kami, Hahiki-no-kami, Ikui-no-kami, Fukui-no-kami, Tsunagai-no-kami)

Massha shrines

Tanao-sha Shrine (Kushiiwamado-no-kami, Toyoiwamado-no-kami)
Kawao-sha Shrine (Mizuhanome-no-kami)
Hashimoto-sha Shrine (Sotooshihime-no-kami)
Iwamoto-sha Shrine (Sokotsutsuo-no-kami, Nakatsutsuo-no-kami, Omotetsutsuo-no-kami)
Yamao-sha Shrine (Oyamatsumi-no-kami)
Hajio-sha Shrine (Taketamayorihiko-no-mikoto)
Sugio-sha Shrine (Sugio-no-kami)
Yamanomori-sha Shrine (Susanoo-no-kami, Inadahime-no-kami, Tagorihime-no-kami)
Kajita-sha Shrine (Seotsuhime-no-kami)
Shirahige-sha Shrine (Sarutahiko-no-kami)
Hyakudayu-sya Shrine (Funatama-no-kami)
Chinju-sha Shrine (Okuninushi-no-kami, Sukunahikona-no-kami)
Fukutoku-sha Shrine (Fukutoku-no-kami)
Fujinoki-sha Shrine (Seoritsuhime-no-kami)
Komori-sha Shrine (Mikumari-no-kami)
Nakaragi-sha Shrine (Ame-no-futotama-no-mikoto)


National Treasures

Kamo-wakeikazuchi-jinja Shrine Honden (main hall) (constructed in 1863)

Kamo-wakeikazuchi-jinja Shrine Gonden (associate shrine) (constructed in 1863)

Important Cultural Properties

Kamo-wakeikazuchi-jinja Shrine Hallway connecting the main hall and the associate shrine (constructed in 1863)

Kamo-wakeikazuchi-jinja Shrine Hallway connecting the main hall and Eastern Watariro (constructed in 1863)

Kamo-wakeikazuchi-jinja Shrine Western Watariro (constructed in 1628)

Kamo-wakeikazuchi-jinja Shrine Sukiro (passageway open on both sides) (constructed in 1628)

Kamo-wakeikazuchi-jinja Shrine Watariro (constructed in 1628)

Kamo-wakeikazuchi-jinja Shrine Noritoya (ritual prayer hall) (constructed in 1628)

Kamo-wakeikazuchi-jinja Shrine Hei Chumon gate (constructed in 1628)

Kamo-wakeikazuchi-jinja Shrine Sessha Wakamiya-jinja Shrine main hall (constructed in 1628)

Kamo-wakeikazuchi-jinja Shrine Eastern Watariro (constructed in 1628)

Kamo-wakeikazuchi-jinja Shrine Four-legged inner gate (constructed in 1628)

Kamo-wakeikazuchi-jinja Shrine Mifuda-no-ya (constructed in 1628)

Kamo-wakeikazuchi-jinja Shrine Shinhouko (constructed in 1628)

Kamo-wakeikazuchi-jinja Shrine Kara-mon gate (constructed around 1628)

Kamo-wakeikazuchi-jinja Shrine Eastern Gokusho (daily offering hall) (constructed around 1628)

Kamo-wakeikazuchi-jinja Shrine Naorai-dokoro (priests retire after performing the Shinto ritual of offering food and drink to the gods) (constructed around 1628)

Kamo-wakeikazuchi-jinja Shrine Gakusho (bandstand) and Western Gokusho (constructed around 1628)

Kamo-wakeikazuchi-jinja Shrine Heiden (hall of offerings) (constructed in 1628)

Kamo-wakeikazuchi-jinja Shrine Igoden (a place to go into seclusion) (constructed around 1628)

Kamo-wakeikazuchi-jinja Shrine Hallway connecting the Heiden and Igoden (constructed around 1628)

Kamo-wakeikazuchi-jinja Shrine Takakura-den (constructed around 1628)

Kamo-wakeikazuchi-jinja Shrine Ro-mon gate (constructed in 1628)

Kamo-wakeikazuchi-jinja Shrine corridors (2) (constructed around 1628)

Kamo-wakeikazuchi-jinja Shrine Sessha Shingu-jinja Shrine main hall and haiden (worship hall) (2) (constructed in 1628)

Kamo-wakeikazuchi-jinja Shrine Sessha Kataoka-jinja Shrine main hall and worship hall (2) (constructed in 1628)

Kamo-wakeikazuchi-jinja Shrine Kataoka-bashi bridge (constructed in 1868 [Shigeo TANI])

Kamo-wakeikazuchi-jinja Shrine worship hall (Hosodono) (constructed in 1628)

Kamo-wakeikazuchi-jinja Shrine Maidono (Hashidono - performance area built over a stream) (constructed in 1863)

Kamo-wakeikazuchi-jinja Shrine Tsuchinoya (Tochakuden) (constructed in 1628)

Kamo-wakeikazuchi-jinja Shrine Gakunoya (bandstand) (constructed in 1628)

Kamo-wakeikazuchi-jinja Shrine Geheiden (outer treasury) (constructed in 1628)

Kamo-wakeikazuchi-jinja Shrine Kitashinsensho (Choya, where food for the gods is prepared) (attached to Nara-jinja Shrine worship hall) (constructed in 1628)

The following are additional wooden structures that are not classified as buildings.

Massha Tanao-sha Shrine main hall

Sessha Suwa-jinja Shrine main hall

Tama-hashi bridge

Massha Sugio-sha Shrine main hall

Massha Hajio-sha Shrine main hall

Arts and Crafts

Important Cultural Properties

Kamo Kannushi Tsunehisa ki

13,639 Kamo-wakeikazuchi-jinja Shrine archive documents

Kamo priest genealogy (legend and catalogue) (owned by The Foundation of The Kamoagatanushi Clan)


Tatezuna: The two cone-shaped sand mounds in front of the hosodono worship hall represent Mt. Ko-yama in which the deity resides. Tatezuna is said to be the origin of purifying sand to be spread in the unlucky northeast corner.

Famous and Historic Places

World Heritage: '{Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto}' Cultural Heritage Site

The grounds of 'Kamo-wakeikazuchi-jinja Shrine' Designated Historic Site

Irises of Ota no sawa' National Natural Monument

The grounds of Kuga-jinja Shirne' Municipal Designated Historic Site


Nearest station: Kyoto City Subway Kitayama Station (Kyoto Prefecture)

Kyoto City Bus: Kamigamo-Misonobashi Stop (opposite side of the Kamo-gawa River), Kamigamo-jinja Mae Stop (within the grounds of the shrine in the same location as the City Bus terminal)

Kyoto Bus: Kamigamo-jinja Mae Stop

Car parking available


The related event is given in <>

December 26, 927: <Engishiki laws completed>

July 9, 967: <Engishiki laws enacted>

May 14, 1871:

[Original Japanese]