What to Do

When you visit each of the shrines and temples on your journey, there are some basic points which we ask that you observe. Here is a simple guide to the basic etiquette required when visiting the holy sites. 

1. What to wear and what to bring

There is no particular dress code, however as you will be visiting shrines and temples we ask that you take care not to be too untidy and that you remove your hat and sunglasses. We recommend you wear suitable flat shoes or trainers for walking as some of the precincts have stone steps, steep mountain slopes and when it rains the gathering moss can be very slippery.

2. Purify yourself by cleansing your hands and mouth with water at the bowl in front of the temple or shrine before entering.

First the left hand then the right. Do not let the ladle touch your mouth Remember that someone else will use the ladle after you, so keep it clean and handle it carefully

3. How to pray

Carefully place the coins you are offering in the box in front of the shrine or temple.
The ways of praying at a shrine and a temple differ slightly. Here are the ways to pray.

●At a shrine bow twice, clap your hands together twice and then bow once more. Then chant the prayer from the prayer book or say your own prayer.

* At Izumo Taisha Shrine you should bow twice, clap four times and then bow once more.

●At a temple, you should bring your hands together and bow, then chant the sutras, or say your own prayer.

4. After praying

After praying, you can take photographs and get your pilgrimage book stamped and receive your commemorative bead.

Other points to keep in mind.

●If you purchase an ‘O-mikuji’ fortune slip, please leave it in the appropriate place. (You will be able to see a tree or structure with many slips tied to it. )

●Please do not take anything that you are not supposed to take from the shrine or temple home with you!

●Please do not drink alcohol or speak in a loud voice.

●Please do not enter the shrine or temple buildings without permission.

●Please do not drop litter.

●Please do not disturb other pilgrims.Please observe the above points and have a wonderful journey!