Hello, I’m Kazuki Shinoda. My hobby is to visit spiritual spots.
For example, I visited “Fushimi Inari Taisya Shrine” in Kyoto 3 years ago, “Suwa Taisya Shrine” and “Moriya Shrine” in Nagano last autumn, “Takaciho Mountain” in Kagoshima this spring , “Izumo Taisya Shrine” and “Yomotsu Hirasaka” in Shimane this summer.
Today, I’m giving you tips on what to do when you visit Japanese Shrines. There are so many customs when you try to go on a pilgrimage to a shrine.
- You should formal dress. You refrain from wearing tank-tops and sandals as much as possible.
- Bow once before passing the gate called Torii. This is thought to be a path of Gods. Gods pass the center of Torii , so you avoid passing the center of Torii.
- You wash your hands and mouth, which is called “Syusui ”. There is a small house nearby Torii. If you can find this , firstly , you should wash your left hand with the right hand holding a ladle. Secondly, you should wash your left hand with the right hand holding ladle as well. Thirdly, you pick up some water with ladle and move to on your other side hand, and wash your oral. After that, you should scoop up water and tilt the ladle to wash the grip of ladle.
- You walk on an approach to the main hall. You should avoid passing the center of approach too.
- Throw money into the box in front of the main hole. This is called “Osaisen”. Maybe 10 yen or 5 yen is the most suitable.
- Do the following action: swing the rope to ring a bell, bow twice, clap twice, make a wish in your heart, and bow once before leaving. But if you visit Izumo Taisya Shrine, you should clap 4 times instead of twice. It is a unique action in Izumo Taisya Shrine.
- All that is left is to enjoy! Take a picture, buy something interesting, collect your red ink stamps in your stamp book, and see beautiful nature…
All of this might seem so difficult that beginners often get overwhelmed.
But visiting a shrine is a lot of fun. Please tell me your experiences!
Kazuki, Intermediate A