Purification fountain in a Shinto shrine

In Meiji shrine

In Hiyoshi great shrine

 It’s June!  Japanese usually think that summer starts this month.  As students’ uniforms and businessmen’s suits usually change from the dark winter version to the bright summer version on June 1, the streets are filled with a summer mood.

By the way, shrines make an oasis in summer.  Since the spirits of Shinto gods are believed to live in natural objects, shrines are often surrounded by forests.   So the grounds are often cooler than the outside.   Also, the purification spot there offers another refreshment.  Rinsing your hands with the cool water feels wonderful.  But it’s also an important ceremony.  The visitors need to clean their hands and mouth before seeing the Shinto gods.  Although many Japanese don’t know the right way of doing this, there is the formal way of purification.

1. You take a ladle in your hand and draw water.

2. You rinse your both hands.

3. You put a little water on your palm.

4. You put your mouth closer to the palm and imitate to rinse your mouth.  (Here, you don’t put your lips on the ladle directly!)

5. Finally, you return the ladle back to the position.

Visiting a shrine in summer is cool!!


About Yuki

I am a new face of the professional tour guide
This entry was posted in ★★★ a must in Japan, Japanese life, Shinto and shrine, tourist sites and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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