Kamigamo Shrine 上賀茂神社
Kamigamo Jinja under the snow.
The sand cones, symbols of the place.
The Sands of Time
What a strange paradox that this place dedicated to Kamo Wake-Ikazuchi, the Shinto god of thunder, is so peaceful. Yet the nearby town seems to be so far away. Only the birds come to break the silence, by vibrating the air of the majestic Kamigamo Shrine with their cheerful trills.
Two sand cones that the Shinto monks erected meticulously every morning are the symbols of the place. Sometimes topped with a pine branch, they are said to have a purifying effect as they are a point of contact between the kami (Shinto deities) and our world.
On May 15th of each year, together with its neighbor Shimogamo-Jinja, the sanctuary is home to one of the three major festivals in Kyoto, the Aoi Matsuri. The rest of the year, many farmers come from the surrounding countryside offering some fruits of their labor to the gods. There are many opportunities to spot daikon (long white radish, typical of East Asia).