Discovering Ujigami Shrine in Uji, Kyoto

Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site from 1994 as one of the “Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto”. Ujigami Shrine in Uji, Kyoto is believed to be the oldest standing shrine in Japan, although there are no official documents of when it was first constructed, experts estimate that the shrine was well established by 1060. Read this article and don’t forget that there is a Ujigami Shrine, when you are in Kyoto!

The History of The Great Ujigami Shrine

The Ujigami Shrine is dedicated to the Emperor Ojin and his sons, the imperial princes UJI no Wakiiratsuko and Emperor Nintoku, the trio are classed as legendary, mentioned in the Kojiki (Japan’s oldest book).

UJI no Wakiiratsuko committed suicide to solve a dispute over the imperial succession thus the shrine was built in his honor. The main hall (honden) of the Ujigami Shrine is known as the oldest example of Nagare-zukuri style of shrine architecture in Japan. In this style of architecture, the three inner shrine structures are built side-by-side, with the structure in the middle being smaller than those on the left and right.

The main hall dates back to the late Heian period (749 to 1185). The hall of worship is built in the Shinden-zukuri style and its roof in the Sugaruhafu style. The hall of worship dates to the Kamakura period (1185 to 1333).

Ujigami Shrine Admission Price

It is Free of charge to get into the shrine. The shrine is open for admission from 9:00 in the morning to 16:30 in the evening, with no closing days.

Typical visitors will spend 5 to 15 minutes in the shrine. Ujigami Shrine is located on the north side of Uji River near the Tale of Genji Museum. It takes about ten minutes to walk there from Keihan Uji Station or 15 minutes’ walk from JR Uji Station.

The best route is to get to Ujigami Shrine from Byodoin Temple, it is about ten minutes’ walk across the river via a small island connected by bridges.

Spot Information

  • Name: Ujigami Shrine
  • Address: 59 Uji Yamada, Uji, Kyoto 611-0021
  • Access: 10 minutes’ walk from Keihan Uji Station or 15 minutes’ walk from JR Uji Station
  • Opening Hour: 9:00 – 16:30