GoWithGuideFind your perfect tour guide at GoWithGuide. Relax and cherish unforgettable tours with loved ones. Create personalized tours for a truly memorable trip!
GoWithGuide
GoWithGuideFind your perfect tour guide at GoWithGuide. Relax and cherish unforgettable tours with loved ones. Create personalized tours for a truly memorable trip!

How to visit temples and shrines in Japan - What to do, how to pray, how to wash your hands and more

Coelho C.

by GoWithGuide travel specialist:Coelho C.

Last updated : Mar 02, 20214 min read

Travel Tips

When you visit Japan, one of the main things you will do is visit the beautiful Buddhist temples or and shinto shrines.
There are many things you can do in a temple, and most of them have a correct way of doing it, for example,  how to wash your hands in a temple or how to pray,  should you clap in a temple or not, and etc.

Here is an introduction to the general etiquette for a visit to a Buddhist temple in Japan and other tips on how to enjoy a temple, a list of activities and tips that you can do and a nice story at the end.



In this video you will see:
1- Food and Shopping in Japanese Temples;
There's usually a lot going on around big temples: Festivals with local food, traditional clothing shops and much more.

2- How to read omikuji, how to read your fortune in Japanese Temples;
One very popular activity you can do in a temple is to read your fortunes through the "Omikuji" little papers with good or bad messages that you can take with you or leave at the temple for the gods to take any bad aura away.

3- What are the incenses, or Senkou for;
It is really common to see the sekou in many Buddhist temples. You can remove any bad aura, make an offering to the gods or heal your body with them.

4- How to wash your hands in the temple - how to purify your body washing your hands;
There's a correct procedure of washing your hands to purify your soul. This is an important ritual do do before entering any temple or shrine.

5- How to pray in temples in Japan - how to offer your prayers;
Generally, if there's a bell in the temple, you should ring it (make sure there's a sign permitting it), throw your coin in the "saisenbako" offering box, clap twice, bow twice and start your prayer. After you are done, clap once, bow once more and leave the place.
However, if there's no bell, you should only pray in silence. No clapping.

6- Temples and Shrine stamps (Goshuin);
In this video, You'll also find other tips such as how to get the temple staps, a beautiful way of keeping memories from the places you've been.

7- Taking pictures with people wearing traditional clothes.
And lastly, learn when it's ok to ask for a photo and the a phrase in Japanese you will need to  ask for pictures with people walking by. 

I believe all of these, are valuable and useful information for any kind of tourists who are visiting Japan. 

Information about the channel:
This video was made by Japan Fan, a channel dedicated to showing everything that is amazing, beautiful, fun, interesting and crazy about Japan. The creators live in Tokyo and we work on the creation of the Japan Video Guidebook www.Planetyze.com,  with videos and trip plans (itineraries) from all over Japan.


The video above was taken in one of Tokyo's most impressive areas:

Asakusa


The Tour of Old and New Japan in Asakusa

Home of Tokyo's oldest temple, Asakusa  is visited by more than half of the overseas tourists. Here you will encounter Tokyo’s oldest temple Sensoji Temple as well as the Kaminarimon (Thunder Gate), which is the outermost gate of Sensoji Temple as well as the street lined with old-school shops that lead to the inner precincts of the shrine. Many of the stores offer services in English.

more information


Sensoji Temple


Get an impression of Japanese culture at Sensoji Temple, the oldest temple in Tokyo, and Nakamise-dori with its many shops

Sensoji Temple is Tokyo’s oldest temple and surrounding the main temple is a 5-story pagoda as well as various shops along Nakamise-dori leading up to the temple. The famous Sanja Festival, which snakes its way through the temple grounds, and the Hozuki Festival occur along with other events on a yearly basis at Sensoji Temple.

More information on Sensoji temple

 

Gifu Tour Guide - Akiko W.

Akiko W.

5.00 / 5
(8 reviews)
Japan

Hello! My name is Akiko from Gifu prefecture. I am a National Government Licensed Guide Interpreter. I like going out with my family, talking with my friends over coffee at a cozy cafe, reading books, baking bread and cake when I have time. I passed the national tour guide test in 2017 and have worked as a guide since then. I have guided in Gifu city, Seki city, Takayama city, Shirakawago , Mino city and Nagoya city. I have lived in Gifu for more than forty years. Gifu prefecture is rich in nature so you can enjoy the rural atmosphere. Gifu city has a beautiful river 'Nagara river' and Mt.Kinka which has Gifu castle on the top. You can go up the mountain on foot or use a ropeway. The view from Gifu castle is so fantastic. At the foot of the mountain , there are many places to visit such as parks, a temple having a big image of Buddha, and a street preserving the historic atmosphere. At Nagara River, you can enjoy seeing a traditional way of fishing ‘cormorant fishing’ which is thought to have started 1300 years ago. Many cafes have unique service called 'morning service' in Gifu along with Aichi In the morning (until about ten thirty or eleven) when you order a cup of tea or coffee, they serve toast and salad ! Near Gifu park , you can find a nice Japanese style cafe where you enjoy good coffee and seeing a Japanese style garden. Seki city is a small city but so famous for its cutlery. At Japanese sword museum in Seki, you can see authentic Japanese swords! Mino city next to Seki city is well known for its hand made Japanese paper 'Hon minoshi' designated as intangible cultural asset by UNESCO . Until recently it was not easy to guide guests because of COVID-19 pandemic; however the situation is getting better. Some strict rules about COVID-19 have been lifted. Please visit Gifu. I am looking forward to seeing you. Please feel free to ask me when you need information about Gifu. Thank you for reading my introduction.                                                                                                                                 

Shimizu Tour Guide - Sayori H.

Sayori H.

5.00 / 5
(2 reviews)
Japan

Hello, I can show you the real Japan. You can taste, see and feel the country. I'd like to show the beautiful culture for you to experience. I can organize the day tour from Shimizu port for Cruise customers. Tea ceremony, strawberry picking experience, anything you are interested, I would love to help you plan your tour. I can communicate in both English and Japanese. I look forward to welcoming people from different parts of the world. Thank you                                                                                                                                 

Shiga Tour Guide - Koichi W.

Koichi W.

4.94 / 5
(51 reviews)
Japan

Hi! I'm Koichi. I was born in Osaka, I studied in Kyoto when I was a university student. Now I live in Shiga next to Kyoto. I am a national government licensed tour guide. I have been guiding about 160 groups over the past twelve months. I usually guide my customers mainly in Kansai region including Kyoto, Nara, Osaka, Kobe and Shiga by public transportation systems. Well, I am curious about Japanese history, especially the history of Japan's ancient times since I was raised next to the world biggest mausoleum of the ancient Emperor called "Nintoku" in Sakai city Osaka which has just become one of the world cultural heritage sites. I dug out some ancient earthen ware vessels around there when I was a primary school student like the adventure archaeologist “Indiana Jones" (It’s our secret!!). That was my hobby. Now, one of my hobbies is outdoor activities such as mountaineering, kayaking, skiing and others. So I would like to take you to some good places where you can enjoy Japanese unique nature. I love to guide foreign visitors from all over the world. I think it is my calling or heavenly given job. Let's go and enjoy together! I hope to see you soon.                                                                                                                                 

Okinawa Main Island Tour Guide - Tateo U.

Tateo U.

4.99 / 5
(68 reviews)
Japan

My name is Tateo. I am officially registerd English tour guide and introducing about Okinawa's history,culture, and nature.I am elderly person but have gone through lots of expericences that happened during US occupation after WW2. For the example, change of monetary system(US dollar to Yen),Change of traffic regulation(driving vehicle from right to left).The reversion of Okinawa to main land Japan was biggest historical event.The US administered Okinawa for 27 years. As a result, thing were Americanized in many aspects. Historically, Okinawa was once independent nation until 1872.During Kingdum era, Okinawa actively traded with China, South Asia Countries, Korea, and Japan. In the end, our culture is quite differ much from main land Japan. For instance, architectural technique, daily customs, and culture are also unique. Okinawa is the only prefecture belong to subtropical climate zone. Even winter time, it's neither hot nor cold. People can enjoy marine sport all through the year.Canoeing, Kayaking, Diving, and Snorkeling are popular. Besides, beatiful white sand beaches and attractive coastline are abundant. Green sea water and blue sky have been lured people from all over the world. Traditional music and dance are worth seeing. Please visit Okinawa and enjoy extraordinary trip. I will be looking forward to seeing you soon.                                                                                                                                  

Plan your trip to Japan

Chat with a local tour guide who can help organize your trip.

Get Started