What are we supposed to do at a SHINTO shrine?


Dears, Dobro Jutro !

Today Topic is as below.

What are we supposed to do at a SHINTO shrine?

The Shinto shrine is called  JINJA 神社 in Japanese. When you arrived at a JINJA, you first need to pass between gate that is called 鳥居. Once throught gate, you have now entered what is considered a divine area.

「神道 狛犬」の画像検索結果

In front of the JINJA there is a pair of status representing animals called komainu 狛犬。

「神道 狛犬」の画像検索結果

The original KOMAINU statues are of lions, the same lion that guarded Buddha in ancient india.

From there , komainu was introduced from CHINA and then brought to Japan via KOREA. KOREA was called KOMA then, and because Japanese had no idea what a lion was, they assumed from description that these great protectors were some part of dog. Dog in Japanese is inu 犬, and so the status that were made were called KOMA-INU in Japan or “KOREAN DOG”

「神道 狛犬」の画像検索結果

The ritual and even the fundamentals of Buddism and Shinto in Japan had already become intertwined in medieval times. For this reason, KOMA-INU are sometimes located inside Buddhist temples. Of course, you will find them at some Buddhist temples.

At a JINJA, you can pray for good luck and the happiness. If you wish to  make a prayer , please follow the ritual below.

「神社 参拝 イラスト」の画像検索結果

  1. Pull and shake the rope at the front of the shrine,which will ring the bell above you to notify the god of your presence
  2. Throw a coin gently into the box that is near to rope at the front of shrine. This donation is called saisen 賽銭
  3. Bow deeply twice and then clap your hands two times. Next, shut your eyes, holding your hands together in prayer. (remember when visiting temple, do not clap your hands)
  4. Of course , don’t forget to think of what you desire during your prayer.
  5. Bow once more to bring the prayer to its end.


It’s good to know that there are different Shinto shrines for various local beliefs. For example, if you are a business person and would like to pray for the success of your business, there is a special shrine known as oinari-san お稲荷さん for meeting that particular need.


In the old days , if people desired military success, they usually went to a particular type of shrine called hachiman jinja八幡神社。But, if such special shrines are not nearby,any JINJA will do.



As has already been explained , Shinto came into being on region-to region basis, and regions were deeply connected with their own local beliefs and godness. So , from one season to the next, countless festivals take place all over the country. The spring and autumn are particularly busy for festivals, as these seasons were firmly connected with agricultural events such as seeding and harvesting. Visiting one of these festivals is must-do for anone who wants to see Japanese culture on its early levels