Omairi — Visiting a Shrine
Any person may visit a shrine and one need not be "Shinto" to do this.
- Approach the entrance and bow respectfully before entering.
- If there is a hand washing basin provided, perform Temizu; wash your left hand first, then your right, then rinse your mouth, (do not spit back into the water supply or drink), and sometimes your feet as well if needed. Tip the ladle backwards to wash the ladle handle with the remaining water and place opening down on the rack where you found it.
- Approach the shrine; if there is a bell, you may ring the bell prior to prayers; if there is a box for donations, leave a modest one in relation to your means; normally there will be a sequence of bows, (commonly 2) and then claps (commonly 2), hold the second and put your hands together in front of your heart for a closing bow after your prayers.
- There is variation in how this basic visitation may go, and depending on the time of year and holidays there may also be other rituals attached to visitations.
- Be sincere and respectful to the staff and other visitors, and if at all possible, be quiet. Do be aware that there are places one should not go on the shrine grounds. Do not wear shoes inside any buildings.
- wiki link shinto.
- Shrine is built to the gods (Shin/Kami) or even 'buddhas'.
- Though Buddhism and Shinto have very different perspectives on the world, most Japanese do not see any challenge in reconciling these two very different religions, and practice both. Thus it is common for people to practice Shinto in life yet have a Buddhist funeral.
- The Japanese emphasis on proper greetings and respectful phrasings can be seen as a continuation of the ancient Shinto belief in kotodama (words with a magical effect on the world). A number of other Japanese religions have originated from or been influenced by Shinto. Also, much of Japanese pop culture, especially anime and manga, draws from Shinto for inspiration and stories
- Shinto kami are commonly being seen by Buddhist clergy as guardians of manifestation, guardians, or pupils of Buddhas and bodhisattvas