How to worship in temples or shrines!

How to worship in temples or shrines!

When you went to a temple in Japan and worshipped (“参拝”sanpai), do you know there are the different worshipping manners in temples and shrines? It is considered to be discourteous if we do different manners in temples and shrines. 
The manners are thought for others, and Japanese people have a strong tendency that care how other person feels. 
The things that break rules are not a proud things, even if you didn’t know that. 
I would like to introduce about worshipping manners in temples! 

How to worship in temple

<1>… After bowing once, throw change in the offering box and ring the bell. 
<2>… Put your hands together in front of your heart and pray. 
<3>… Bow again before you leave. 
It is rude to clap your hands in temples like shrines, but the worshipping methods are different in each temples such as Izumo-taisha. 
But, the most important thing is your heart and mind for worshipping, so it’s no problem even if you bow just once. 
If there are guide signboards in English, it’s very luck! Please use it as a reference. 


You throw a coin in the offering box. We recommend you to throw 5yen in the offering box if you have it.
5yen can be written as “ご縁”(goen). it means a good omen. 
By the way, when you throw a coin in the offering box, throw a coin very softly. (Maybe almost Japanese people don’t know that.) 

Picture is ok?

Please follow a rules if there are warning signs because some places prohibits pictures. 

Incense burner

In a big temples, a big china ware which is called an incense burner, is giving out smoke. 
You can buy an incense stick if the temples have a incense burner. 
When you burn your incense stick, put out the fire by your hand. Please do not blow out it by your mouth.
Put the smoke on your body, and your pains go away. 
It is said that it will be led to the improvement of pains. Please give it a try if you have any pains! 

Having a bell in temple

By each temples, it’s possible to strike a bell freely. 
If you can strike a bell: Before worshipping, strike a bell. 
This is because it’s the greeting to God. An action of “strike a bell” have the meaning of “I will worship from now”. 
Before leaving the temple, strike the bell. It’s called “出鐘”(degane). It has the meaning of sending the dead to kingdom come, so it is said that it is a bad omen.