The Shimogamo shrine
The Shimogamo shrine is one of a pair of Shinto shrines outside of ancient Kyoto. It is the down-river shrine, founded in the 500s. It was one of the few places granted a divine seal by one of the early emperors and is important now in prayers for a good rice harvest. The entrance approaches from the south, along a lengthy forested walkway. The forest is said to have never burned down (unlikely given Kyoto’s history of burnings), but it is left untended and natural. One of the large and gnarly trees is marked with a rope and the Shinto paper hanging; this may be the sort of tree that is commemorated by sand cones at Shimogamo’s sister shrine, Kamigamo.

Shimogamo can be reached by the Kyoto sightseeing bus from Kamigamo. Be warned, however, that the main entrance to the south is not well served by busses; it is easy to get on a Kyoto city bus, which does not accept the 500 yen day pass.

The entrance to Shimogamo is through untouched forest
I believe this is a bridge; you can’t walk on it anymore, though
Entrance to the shrine proper