About the temple worship method

About the temple worship method

Have you ever thought about a proper manner of worshiping a temple? Temples have been the principal places for visiting graves, rituals, and memorial services, but the number of people visiting temples for worshiping Buddha is increasing recently. Also, you can see some people who collect Shuin as one of their hobbies. Suppose you know the proper manners of visiting a temple. In that case, it’s possible to face the Buddha with vague feelings. The temple worship method is one of the Japanese traditions needed to convey to the next generations. It may be useful for understanding the procedure on this occasion.

How to visit a temple

Then, is there a proper manner when visiting a temple? There is no strict rule that “you must be punished if you don’t follow the rule,” since the most crucial thing to do is worship and respect the Buddha. However, it’s better to behave when facing Buddha at temples, so it’s essential to know the procedures and manners of worship.

One bow at the mountain gate

First of all, there’s the gate at the entrance of a temple. Since it becomes the Buddha’s world from this mountain gate, pass through the mountain gate after calming down and giving a bow. It is essential to take off your hat in front of the mountain gate and cross the threshold. Please be careful when you go through the gate.

Purify at the Waterhouse

When you enter the precincts, clean your hands and mouth at the Waterhouse called Chozuya in Japanese. There is also a proper procedure for using the ladle at the Waterhouse.
Remember the following order.

  • Hold the ladle in your right hand to scoop water, and pour water into your left hand.
  • Hold the ladle in your left hand and water your right hand to purify.
  • Hold the ladle again with your right hand, receive water with your left hand, and rinse your mouth with it. Exhaust rinsed water without swallowing.
  • Once again, sprinkle water on the left hand to purify.
  • Set up and cleanse the ladle with the remaining water.

Give incense

The next step is to give incense sticks to the Buddha. Some have prepared incense matches depending on the temple, while others have a light for incense in advance. You need to be careful about two things at this point. The first point is that the incense stick fire does not blow out with your mouth. In Buddhism, humans’ breath is considered to contain impurities, so the fire of the incense stick should be extinguished with your hand. The second point is that you will not catch fire from other worshipers. It is said that if you use the fire lit by other worshipers, you may get all the work from that person.

Offer money at the main hall

The next is to give a temple some donations after offering an incense stickā€”no fixed amount of money you should offer. The amount is depending on your feeling. It is rude to the Buddha to make big sounds or throw them when you submit it into the box.


After putting in the money box, give a light bow, and put your hands together. According to Buddhism, the right hand represents Buddha, and the left hand represents oneself. Worship is a valuable opportunity to integrate with Buddha. Put your hands together and quietly pray to the Buddha.

Finally a bow

Once the prayer to Buddha is over, bow once again. Feel grateful to have an opportunity to visit the temple safely.

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