Glossary (Phrase list) >> Worship  procedures

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Worship procedures 参拝作法


  Actually, we don't necessarily take all steps.  However, we think that the initial display steps should be followed because most of us follow them. 

  Keep it in mind that "We may make sounds like hand-clapping when praying at shrines, but have to talk quietly to buddhas without hand-clapping at temples."

神社(jinja), 宮(gu)

寺 (tera, dera)

  Some shrines and temples have different steps and the most formal worship will require more steps, but these process could be taken generally.

Poster at shrine

Poster at temple

  Common steps  


1. Take a bow at the Torii-gate of shrines and the San-mon entrance of temples.

 Read all steps


  At shrine  


1. Take a bow and ring the bell by hitting hard with the rope at the worship hall.

  This act is to let the deity know you have come to pray.


2. Take a deep bow TWICE.

  Formally, each bow should be deep enough as bending the waist at right angle.  Actually, many of us bow twice at the regular angle.


3. Toss one or some coins into the offertory box.  That is called Osaisen お賽銭.  Bill is also acceptable.


4. Clap your hands TWICE in front of your chest.

  This act is to show that you are unarmed.


5. Pray with your hands put together, then take a bow ONCE after your pray.


-Shrine worship ends-


  When leaving, turn round at the Torii gate and take a bow toward the building.


 At temple


1. Strike the hanging bell if permitted.  If you are not sure whether it is permitted or not, just skip this step.

  Actually, few temples allow visitors to ring the hanging bell with some exceptional cases like Jyoya-no-Kane, the Year End Bell Ring because hanging bells are placed so that Buddhist priests can let people know the time and the start of Buddhist events.



4. Toss one or some coins into the offertory box.  That is called Osaisen お賽銭.  Bill is also acceptable.


5. Talk to Buddha with your hands put together without hand-clap, then take a bow ONCE at the end.


-Temple worship ends-


  When leaving, turn round at the Gate and take a bow to the building for buddhas.


Photography (Both in a shrine and temple)


  Hand-shooting photography is allowed outside, but it's prohibited in the buildings at most of the shrines and temples.

  Use of a tripod and drone is prohibitted even outside at almost all temples and shrines.


  Even outside, if you see 撮影禁止 poster, it means "No Photography".


For example;

a) We may take pictures of The Great Buddha in the open air at Kotoku-in, but can't photograph statues in the hall at most of the other temples.

b)  Photography is all prohibited anywhere at Gokuraku-ji.  撮影禁止-sign stands at the temple gate.

(In case of Visit Kamakura Stores, we had taken the necessary procedures and was given approval to take pictures and to post them on line.)


Related page: "Osaisen お賽銭" -Glossary-


Related page: "Shrine - jinja" -Glossary-


Related page: "Temple - tera" -Glossary-

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