Not only Japanese but also foreign tourists visit shrines. There are torii gates and money boxes at the shrine, and is there any relationship between these and colors? It also introduces how the colors are related to clothes for workers.
Month: June 2020
You go to various places during your trip to Japan. Even in one day, you go to many places, not just one place. Lots of people manage a list of places they want to go to during their trip to maximize their time and energy based on your interests. Still, it is tough to stick to the original plans for most of them because there are so many attractions coming across. If you have a plan on going to a shrine during your stay in Japan, what time would be best? Here it introduces some recommendations regarding the time of day to visit there.
Generally, the morning is the best
Actually, there is no strict rule about what time you should visit a shrine, and it is said that each person went when they wanted to visit. However, it is said that a rough outline has been made as various ideas such as Feng Shui and fortunetelling throughout history. The recommended times of worship in many books and articles are as follows:
- early morning
- in the morning
Early morning is preferred when you visit a shrine. If it is difficult to do so, you don’t need to take it so seriously; still, you can visit there the time when you are available. The reason is that the number of worshipers is relatively small in the early morning, so it is possible to pray more quietly with less distraction.
How about worshiping in the evening or at night
But what if you’re busy from morning to afternoon and can only take time at night? As it’s already explained, there is no precise time to visit the shrine, so if you have a desire to visit, you can visit a shrine. However, there are some things you need to be careful about when you worship in the evening or night, so it shares these here.
Many shrines allow you to come and go freely, even in the evening or at night. Still, you may need to be careful when walking after dawn because the precincts having a vast area may not have sufficient lighting. Japan is a relatively safe place, but since few people are coming and going, especially on the premise, you must be careful not to be in an incident or accident. Therefore, it’s recommended that you avoid worshiping alone and go with multiple people. Alternatively, you can also pray to the shrine from the outside of the site without entering the precincts. If there is no sign of people inside, this method is also used instead of going to the site.
Besides, there is an office building located in the shrine, where you can purchase sacred bills, amulets, and fortune slips called Omikuji during the day. Still, they are closed at night. Therefore, if possible, it’s preferred to visit by dawn at the latest.
In the previous article, it’s explained that the Japanese have worshiped and cherished various gods since ancient times. It introduces what prayers people have offered to the shrines, the main ritual objects of the shrines scattered around Japan, and their benefits.
Shinmeisha Shrine’s head shrine is the Ise Shrine in Mie Prefecture, which is dedicated to Amaterasu appearing in Japanese mythology. This Amaterasu is considered as the ancestor of the imperial family, the general god of the Japanese people, and has been revered as the sun god and agricultural god. Therefore, it has a tight connection with the history of Japan, and the Japanese have especially valued the Ise Shrine, where the Amaterasu is enshrined. It is said that when one visits this Shinmeisha Shrine, he/she will get benefits such as warding off illness, healing the sick, inviting good luck, and prospering the land.
It is believed that visiting an Inari Shrine will bring benefits such as a plentiful harvest of five grains, prosperous business, good relations, industrial rise, family safety, traffic safety, and improvement of entertainment. When explained in this way, it is regarded as a very versatile god. However, the Inari Shrine, which is the object of rituals of Inari, is considered as the agricultural god that symbolizes rice. For the Japanese, who have been farming rice as the primary staple food for a long time, lack of sufficient crops due to severe weather means suffering from hunger. Therefore, it was the most famous for the plants to grow, and the god has been enshrined who control agriculture. The head shrine of this Inari Shrine is Fushimi Inari-Taisha, which is one of the most famous shrines in Japan because of the many Torii gates in Kyoto.
Hachiman is worshiped at Hachimansha Shrine. It is the deity of the emperor, who was said to have existed in ancient times. Samurai worshiped this god throughout Japan because this god is for wars and martial arts. Since this Hachiman is believed to bring the benefits of victories with battles and promotions in society, it could be understood that many samurai worshiped. There are tens of thousands of Hachiman shrines all over Japan, and Usa Jingu in Oita is the head shrine.
Tenjin, which is considered a generic name of all gods living in heaven, is enshrined in Tenjin Shrine. However, the most significant number of shrines enshrined at this shrine is Michizane Sugawara, a nobleman who existed more than 1,000 years ago. The reason why the Japanese worshiped this god was that people were afraid that this person with causing the continuation of natural disasters such as thunder, great fire, and plague after his death. Then, he was worshiped as a god of heaven with the exceptional ability to manipulate nature. However, as time passed, people began to enshrine this god for learning because Mr. Sugawara was re-evaluated as a person who was excellent in his life. So when one visits a Tenjin Shrine, he/she will benefit from academic improvement, agricultural protection, sick healing, and passing exams.
There are about 25,000 Suwa Shrines throughout Japan, and Suwa Taisha in Nagano Prefecture is revered as the head shrine. The blessed gods are Takeminakata and his wife introduced in Japanese mythology. By visiting this god reflecting the mountain and water environment in the area where the head shrine is blessed, there are benefits such as agricultural production, good luck, and transportation safety.
Different shrines are spread all over Japan, but when one goes to worship, he/she will be able to gain more benefit by checking which god is enshrined and what kind of history and background it has.