method of visiting shrines
Introduced the necessary knowledge about the shrine in the previous sentence, but here it briefly shares how to visit a shrine. If you refer to this procedure when you visit a shrine, you will be able to worship without hesitation. However, not all Japanese going to shrines follow this order correctly, so it is good to understand it as knowledge without nerves.
Go through the torii gate and enter the property of a shrine
When you first enter a shrine area, there is often a torii gate. Since the sacred place where God lives and the place where people live are divided by this gate, it is crucial to bow before passing through the gate and make a sincere feeling before passing. Then, you go through it also enter into the shrine grounds. At that time, you should avoid to walk the center of the gate and the approach and try to walk on either side instead. The reason for this is that the center of the gate and the path is the road of God, so open the center of the approach for that reason.
Cleanse your mouth and hands at the Chozuya
There is a building called Chozuya, which is like a cabin located beside the approach and has a water area. It is a remnant of customs to purify visitors in nearby rivers and springs before worshipping. A ladle, a tool used for scooping water, is used to cleanse your mouth and hands, but there are five steps below.
- Hold the ladle with your right hand and wash your left hand.
- Change the ladle to your left hand and wash your right hand.
- Hold the ladle in your right hand and collect water in your left hand to rinse your mouth.
- After rinsing your mouth, rewash your left hand.
- Wash the handle and both hands with the water remaining with making the ladle vertical.
It is considered as etiquette to follow these five steps with a ladle, and it may feel a bit difficult when you try these steps for the first time. By the way, when you rinse your mouth, make sure to collect water in your left hand before carrying it to your mouth.
After clearing at the Chozuya, head to the worship building. As with the approach, when you worship, avoid standing at the center because it is the path of God. Let’s pray at a place slightly offset to the left or right. There are also ways to worship. Generally, there are four steps below.
- Put money in the box in front of you. When you put money in, put it gently instead of throwing it.
- Ring the hanging bell and make two deep bows. Invite God by ringing the bell. Make sure to do 90 degrees bow.
- Clap your hands twice, put your hands together, and pray in your heart. First of all, tell your name and where you live and then tell your sincere gratitude. Finally, convey something you want, such as your wishes and determination.
- After praying, give one last bow.
It is a necessary procedure to follow when you pray. Still, the worship method may vary depending on the area or shrine, so if the situation is different, please try to follow the way of the people around you.
Go out of the precincts through the torii gate
When the worship is over, this is the last step to do. As when entering, the approach should be to the left or right, not walking the center. And when we go through the torii, we give a bow. When bowing, it is desirable to head toward the worship building.
The above is the brief worship method, so please give it a try when you go to a shrine.