| Kansai

The world heritage site mysterious Tadasu Forest and elegant Shimogamo Shrine is a place for healing!

Shimogamo Shrine (a world heritage site) from the Heian period is one of the oldest shrines in Kyoto.
When entering the tadasu forest, you feel wrapped in a mysterious air that just by walking through it, you can be healed. Understandably this is a very popular power spot.
One of the 3 great Kyoto Festivals in May, showcases a parade from the Imperial Palace to the Shimogamo shrine. It patterns itself after the Heian Era Mitarashi Festival of kemari, archery, sink chicks, and other traditional rituals.


Walk through the Ancient Tadasu forest!

The Tadasu forest was a valuable forest to the people during the Heian period.
Its size is approximately 77 square miles. That is about 3 times the size of the Tokyo Dome.
Surrounded by the deep green of the 600-year-old giant tadasu trees, and clear flowing streams, you’ll change with every step as you walk around in the clean air.
Compared to the city, the temperature is about 2-4 degrees cooler. It is exactly what it feels like to walk into a sanctuary.
It is nice when sitting on the bench and surrounded by clear forest air.
From the entrance in the woods of Tadas, let’s move on to the main hall while listening to the singing of birds, such as Japanese white-eye and shrike.
Let’s move on to the main shrine!

A place to help make connections!

Aioi, located near the gate is the God of marriage.

Matchmaking trees with branches coming together are symbolic of partnerships success. It is a good place to help with making connections! Not just romantic connections but business and friendships as well.
In the main building, there is also a place to pray for peace and national security, good luck, traffic safety, safe delivery and child rearing.
In the front is the guardian deity for each sign of the Zodiac.

Shimogamo shrine is the birthplace Mitarashi dango!

In Midsummer, the Mitarashi Festival attracts many people. They soak their feet in the spring-fed pond, light candles and pray for good health. The Water year round is about 64 degrees. So even in the heat of summer, the water is still cool.
This pond is known as the birthplace of the Mitarashi dango. Also in the vicinity is the venerable “Kamo Mitarashi Chaya.” It is somewhere you want to stop by.

Beautiful prayer in God’s beautiful, Kawai shrine!

Kawai shrine is part of the Shimogamo shrine. It is dedicated to Japan’s first beautiful female patron God. It is also the setting for the famous story “Hojoki” chomei’s
Cute mirror EMA shaped mirrors are popular. A face is depicted on a votive mirror to resemble their faces with makeup added with colored pencils. Then placed on the shrine. The idea is to show that they are beautiful inside and out.
bizinmizuAnd you can finish your experience with a drink of the beautiful water. Karin harvested from the surrounding countryside and mixed with the beautiful holy water that creates a delicious clean tasting drink that is good for you inside and out.

Smart tip
  • Tadasu forest hosts a homemade craft fair and Book Festival. Check the website! Mitarai pond water (our holy water). Water is excellent for keeping away disease. Amulets made of crepe, that make cute charms are also featured.
  • The footwear ritual that takes place before and after Midsummer Day of the Ox "Mitarashi Festival" is also good to go to. So by all means try to fit it into your schedule. Going in the morning feels good, but it is also recommended to go at night and experience the mysterious nighttime atmosphere.
  • If you are looking for a place to have a break, visit the "Saruya teahouse. It has foods that follow a 140-year-old recipes. Its specialty is delicious sweets.
What's interesting

When I was researching for this article I heard that it was very nice to see the sunrise at the forest of Tadas, so I really wanted to make it there one day. I also wanted to experience the Mitarai festival days. Both are well worth the trip.