Teamlab in Shimogamo Shrine

November 25, 2019

By Akari Higashino & Natsumi Nishimura

There are many shrines in Kyoto. One of the most famous shrines is Shimogamo Shrine. We will introduce you to a special event there that you can definitely enjoy.

Simogamo Shrine

It is officially called “Kamomioya Shrine”. Kyoto is built around the Kamogawa River. It is called “Shimogamo Shrine” because it is a shrine that sits on the Kamogawa River. Both the east and west main shrines are designated as national treasures. Shimogamo Shrine is very old and there is a record that the shrine was renovated in 90 B.C. and there is a theory that it was there before that. Excavations have revealed a lot of earthenware from the Jomon Period (14,000 – 1000 B.C.) and the remains of residences from the Yayoi Period (1000 B. C. – 300 A.D.) In addition, festivals, shrines, dedications and sacred treasures are recorded in the biography and history books. In 698 of “Shokunihongi”, there is an article that an order was issued to guard the shrine because there were many spectators gathered at the festival. From this, we can see that this shrine had a big and a grand festival held before the Nara Period (710 – 794).

The Highlights of the Shrine

Walk! Walk!

There are some highlights of shrine precinct. First, the Aioinoyashiro has the god of marriage. Aioinoyashiro is part of Shimogamo. It is said that Aioinoyashiro is the place where you can get love power. The sacred tree is there. This tree is actually two branches tied together in the middle, so this is said to be giving us godlike power. The procedure for worship is easy for us. At the first, you write your wishes on the Ema, which is a board for that purpose. Second, you go to in front of Aoinoyashiro, and if you are female, you go around twice toward the right. However, a man goes around toward the left. Final, you dedicate your Ema. Your love will go well. The second highlight is Kawai Shrine in the Shimogamo Shrine. Kawai shrine is dedicated to the god of beauty. The procedure for worship is to make up your cosmetics on an Ema shaped hand mirror. You can draw your favorite face, so you will enjoy drawing, and you will be beautiful.

Summer Event


Shimogamo Shrine has a special event in summer. This event’s name is “Digitized Forest at the World Heritage Site of Shimogamo Shrine –Art by TeamLab- “. TeamLab is an organization that conducts an art project. The Digitized Forest means a forest remains a forest and become an art. This is the concept of event. Teamlab event in Shimogamo Shrine has been held since 2017. There are some artworks displayed at this event. First art is “Walk, Walk, Walk – Tadasu Forest at Shimogamo Shrine. This is like a projection mapping, and portrait people keep walking along the river in the forest. The characters of a work keep walking endlessly and facing various events. The visitors also follow them. This work is drawn in real time by a computer program. We can’t see the same portraits of people, images are forever changing. Second, “Floating, Resonating Spheres- Shimogamo Shrine.” This art features many bright floating spheres. These spheres change as if breathing and ring a beautiful sound. These seem to be breathing slowly. The spheres are touched by people, and they change color with the light and make a special sound. Third, “Resonating Forest and Autonomous Resonating Life-Tadasu Forest at Shimogamo Shrine”. This is a work of many ovoids and trees lighting on the road. The ovoids are pushed by people, and change color. Fourth, Autonomous Resonating Life on the Water –Mitarashi Pond at Shimogamo Shrine. This work is spheres floating on the surface of the water. The light reflected from the water’s surface is very beautiful. Finally, “Forest of Autonomous Resonating Life”. This work is a space filled with ovoids. People will surely be more conscious of their existence than usual from encountering these ovoids. All of them are wonderful works. This event will be enjoyable, regardless of age or sex. You should visit there once a year. Let’s have a fantastic time!


Shimogamo Shrine is a traditional and very famous shrine in Kyoto. In addition, there is special event which is such a fascinating event in summer. Of course, you can enjoy it anytime, but if you attend the event, you can enjoy it more. You should visit Simogamo Shrine if you go to Kyoto.


From Kyoto Station to Shimogamo Shrine-mae (or Aioinomori) by city bus. It takes about 30 minutes. 59 Izumikawacho, Shimogamo, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto, 606-0807 No regular holiday The opening hours 6:30 a.m. to 17:00 p.m.

Special Night Viewing in Kiyomizu Temple

by Misato Yamada and Yukiko Yoshizawa

Some people might have heard the name of Kiyomizu temple, which is located in Kyoto and renowned for a large stage, in fact, other ones might have been to this temple before. You will imagine sight of daytime, but you can see different views of this temple in the evening for some events. These events are named special night viewings and they are held in spring, summer and autumn. If you become interested in this event, please come to these special night viewings. This event is mainly supported by Kiyomizudera Monzenkai, which is the group of businesspeople in the shopping district of local long-established stores and shops in Kiyomizuzaka area.

Kiyomizu temple in daytime

Kiyomizu temple in daytime

Special Night Viewing

Special Night Viewing


・Highlights of This Event

The highlights of these night viewings are the lighting up of Kiyomizu temple and upsloping street leading to the temple’s main entrance. In spring and autumn, you can see beautiful, fantastic sights of cherry blossoms and colored leaves lit by lights. Also, there is a dirty pond on the way to this temple, but reflected light shows very incredible beautiful view to you. As you see, light reflect on the pond and colored leaves are reflected on the surface of the pond as if it is a mirror. If you have visited this temple just in daytime before, you must be surprised with the beauty of the pond. In summer, there is a special experience in a main hall of this temple. Although we’re not allowed to enter the inner most place of this building in daytime, we can go in there during the special night viewing and offer light to the main idol with candles. Furthermore, various shops around Kiyomizu temple are open not only in the daytime but also in the evening, and you can buy souvenirs and eat food on the way back to your accommodations or the way to the night viewings. I’m afraid you cannot go in nearby Jishu shrine which is renowned for luck in love in the evening.

Incredible beautiful pond

Incredible beautiful pond

・Garden Lanterns

A lot of garden lanterns made of Japanese paper line the side of the way of Kiyomizu temple and the sloping streets which you go up to visit this temple. And, in the same season of the spring special night viewing, another event, called Kyoto Higashiyama Hanatouro, is held and streets lit with garden lantern’s streets reach from Yasaka shrine to Kiyomizu temple. These lanterns light the streets, so you can walk this area safely and romantically.

・The dates and times in 2016

・Summer: August 14~August 16

7 p.m. (entrance opens)~9 p.m. (temple grounds will close)

・Autumn: November 12~December 4

6 p.m. (entrance opens)~9 p.m. (temple grounds will close)

 ・Admission fee

・Adult: 400 yen

・Elementary and junior high school student: 200 yen

 ・If you have questions…

In special might viewing in summer, you can see staff wearing T-shirts. You can see staff wearing white happi coats during special night viewing in spring and autumn. If you have questions, you can ask them.

 ・The shops

There are a lot of shops near the Kiyomizu Temple. The various shops sell snacks like Yatsuhashi, a soft slice of chewy rice dough filled with sweet red beans. You can eat inside of some stores. Many shops also sell pottery, fans, and small items emblematic of Kyoto. We recommend that you buy your souvenirs in these local shops.


   ・Kyoto City bus

  1. From Kyoto Station to Kiyomizu-michi

→Line No.206 or Line No.100

After getting off the bus, you have to walk for about 8 minutes.

2,From Shijo-Kawaramachi to Kiyomizu-michi

→Line No.207

After getting off the bus, you have to walk for about 8 minutes.


・Keihan train

  1. After getting off the train at Kiyomizu-gojo station, walk for about 20 minutes. You can take the Line No. 80 bus instead of walking. In that case, you take the bus at Gojo-keihanmae, and get off at Kiyomizu-michi.)

2,After getting off the train at Gion-shijo station, walk for about 25 minutes. You can take the Line No. 207 bus instead of walking. In that case, you take the bus at Shijo-        keihanmae, and get off at Kiyomizu-michi.


・Hankyu train

After getting off the train at Kawaramachi station, walk for about 25 minutes. You can take the Line No. 207 bus instead of walking. In that case, you take the bus at Shijo-Kawaramachi, and get off at Kiyomizu-michi .)



From central Kyoto, a taxi ride might cost between 1000 yen to 3000 yen, depending on your starting point. A taxi ride will save you the 8 minute walk uphill to the temple. If you have 3 or 4 people, the cost might not be much more than a bus ride for everyone. Tell the driver, Kiyomizudera, onegaishimasu.


Kiyomizu Temple is a wonderful place. We strongly recommend for you to visit there. We will be happy that this web page is useful to you. We hope that your travel is satisfactory.




Kiyomizudera Monzenkai.