Japan has an insane amount of Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines and not only their appearance is beautiful with the intense vermilion colour and wooden constructions but also the fact that they coexist side by side and you can also practice both religions. That’s what I call religious freedom, tolerance and love for fellow humans.
There are different gods and spirits that can be greeted and gotten blessings from, depending on where you are and what you are seeking. But how do you do it? It seems all so random with the bowing, hand clapping and money throwing for outsiders. It did for me. To clarify it for you and avoid embarrassment, I have prepared a little video for you on Buddhist temples with a little demonstration but the main points are:
- Behave respectfully and remain calm.
- You can burn incense and fan the smoke onto you at the entrance (especially areas that cause you pain as it’s supposed to have healing powers)
- Approach the sacred object by making a donation and short prayer in your head
- Wear nice shoes because you take off your shoes inside temples and carry them with you in plastic bags.
- Usually photos and videos are not allowed inside temples.