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Visiting the Shrines and Temples

The precincts of temples and shrines are sacred, and not sightseeing facilities.
When entering temples and shrines, please show respect by observing the custom of bowing
at the Sanmon or the Torii gate.

There are some exceptions; however, the following activities are prohibited in most temples and shrines.

Smoking Drinking Shouting in loud voices
Please visit quietly and feel the eternity.

Taking photographs in prohibited areas.
Please pay attention to the posted signs and do not take photographs in prohibited areas.
Some areas prohibit using a flash. In addition, do not swing a selfie-stick around – you might hurt someone.

Entering buildings without permission
You may not enter buildings without permission unless otherwise posted.

Touching historic remains and exhibits
A number of the buildings and treasures are more than 1,000 years old.
Please refrain from touching in order to avoid damaging them.

Keeping reservations
If you have made a reservation to visit, please arrive on time.

Visiting Jinja shrines

Customs at Chozuya
(purification font usually consisting of a stone water basin)

It is customary to bow twice, clap twice, and bow once

Illustrated by Yui Fujimoto

Visiting temples

(1) Bow at the Sanmon gate, rinse your hands and mouth at the Temizuya to purify.
(same as for shrines)

(2) As you enter the main temple, make a money offering, bang the gong, bow, and pray with both hands together in front of your chest.
When you have said your prayer, bow again. Joining your palms together means becoming one with Buddha. In shrines, you do not clap your hands.

Customs may differ by temple or shrine.


The contents of this brochure include events and stories based on myths.

The information is up-to-date as of December 2015. Some information, such as entrance fees, may change, and some facilities may be unavailable due to temporary closure, etc. Please check in advance.

There are Buddhist or Shinto statues or sections of buildings that are not usually open to the public. Please check beforehand.