Do you know the correct way to pray when visiting shrines in Japan?
Visiting temples and shrines is one the most popular sightseeing spot for many tourists who travel to Japan. There are reporttedly around 85,000 shrines in Japan.
This time we specially introduce the way and etiquettes to pray in shrines, and hope this article helps people who want to visit shrines during your stay in Japan for reference. The most important of these etiquettes is the purification fountain near the shrine's entrace. It represents of a ritual before proceeding to stand in front of the deity.
At the purification fountain, take one of the ladles provided and use it for washing hands and rinse mouth. First, fill in with fresh water in a ladle with right hand and pour water over your left hand. Next, hold the ladle with your left hand and pour water over your right hand. Afterwards, hold the ladle in right hand again, and transfer some water into your cupped left hand and rinse your mouth. Please remember that never transfer the water from ladle directly to your mouth. Lastly, using the remaining water tip the ladle to rinse it off. Actually, not a lot of Japanese can do it properly, so people might feel surprised if you do it correcly as a foreign tourist.
After the ritual, we are able to proceeding to stand in front of the deity and pray. First of all, at the alter, bow twice deeply, clap your hand twice, and then bow once to pray.
These are almost all the etiquettes to pray in shrines. We called it “two bowings, two claps, and one bowing”. However, times of clap and bow is different between shrines such as Isejingu and Izumooyashiro. You need to clap hands eight times “two bowings, eight claps, and one bowing” in Isejingu; and clap hands four times “two bowings, four claps, and one bowing” in Izumooyashiro. Wish you could remember the difference between each of them.
Why clap the hands in front of the deity? Clapping is the way used to call the Gods you are here and praying to. Therefore please clapping loud, and expresses your joy and pious with the deity.
【Useful App Functions】
If you are looking at the app version of this article, try pushing the button to the right of the headline. Tapping this button allows you to save an article in "Favorites," which can be displayed by sliding from the left edge of the screen.
Favorites are an archive you create yourself. Check the new postings every day and add the articles you like to your Favorites. The articles you save here will be viewable online, which will come in handy during a trip to Japan.