Are you familiar with the correct manners at Japanese shrines?

Many of our readers may be thinking about exploring the shrines and Buddhist temples when they visit Japan. In Japan, there are some 85,000 shrines throughout the country.
We would like to introduce the proper way to make a shrine visitation! The first most important thing is to rinse your hands and mouth at the temizuya to the side of the shrine pathway, for the purpose of cleansing your body.
The temizuya is equipped with a ladle for this purpose. First take the ladle with your right hand, and fill it with water. Pour it over your left hand to cleanse it. Next, swap the ladle to your left hand and use it to cleanse your right. Now you should return the ladle to your right hand, and, taking a small amount of water in the palm of your left, and use it to rinse your mouth. You must never touch the ladle with your mouth. After rinsing your mouth, cleanse your left hand once more. Finally place the ladle back so that the handle is pointing downward into the water. This is for the purpose of cleansing the handle. This tradition is not always observed properly by all Japanese people, so if you can do it properly you may surprise and impress people around you.
Now then, upon arriving at the shrine one must ring the bell and then bow deeply, twice. Following this, we should clap twice and bow deeply once more. This 'two bows, two claps, one bow' is the standard procedure at Japanese shrines.
So why do we clap before the shrine? Apparently it is to let the god of the shrine know that we have come to visit. Why not try seeking the gods' favor with a resounding clap?