Entering a Japanese Shrine

Hi everyone! My name is Torin Horvik, and I am spending the 2019 Fall Semester at Kansai Gaidai University in Japan. Last week, the University took a group of students to a city named Kyoto, not too far from the main Campus in Hirakata City, Osaka. We visited various shrines in Kyoto, and these are images from some of them. Before entering, we learned that people must undergo a certain process. You need to purify yourself by going to one of the purification fountains. There, you will pick up one of the objects pictured above, and fill it with water.
Next, you must rinse your left hand, right hand, and mouth in that order. Be sure to rinse in the draining area as pictured above! Then, when you rinse your mouth, be sure not to swallow, as the water in your mouth can also be disposed of in the draining area. After that, you’re ready to enter the shrine!
(Pictured: My friend, Haru)
Once inside the shrine, there are some places that you can pray. In order to do this, you will need a 5 yen coin. Once you have that, the first thing you will do is go up to one of these bells pictured above, put your hands together, and bow. Then, you step forward, put your 5 yen coin behind the panels, and step backwards again to face the bell. Following, You ring the bell in a forwards/backwards motion (I know this because I accidentally did side to side, but it wasn’t very successful). This is to wake up the God within the shrine. Then, you clap twice, with a small hesitation between the claps. After this, you can silently say your prayer or wish. Once that has finished, you put your hands together and bow once more.

Thank you for reading, and stay tuned for more posts!
Torin Horvik
(Pictured: My friend Sonja)

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