Useful Information for Foreign Tourists in Sapporo: Visiting a Shrine.

Be respectful.

Follow the steps below when visiting a Japanese shrine.

Cleanse your Hands and Mouth at Temizuya
It is customary to first purify your body and mind with water at the temizuya (a Shinto water ablution pavilion) when visiting a shrine.

Scoop water using a hishaku (water ladle) with your right hand and pour some water over your left hand.

Transfer the hishaku from your right hand to the left and pour some of the water over your right hand.

Transfer the hishaku back to your right hand again, cup your left hand, and place the remaining water in it.

Rinse your mouth with the water in your cupped left hand and gently spit the water out towards the side the temizuya. You are not supposed to transfer the water directly from the hishaku into your mouth or swallow the water.

Clean your left hand in the same manner and make sure to lift the hishaku upwards so that water streams down the handle before putting it back onto the temizuya.

*You should only scoop up water one time, at the very first step of the process.

Offering a Prayer
When offering a prayer at a shrine, follow the general guideline of “two bows, two claps, and one bow.” Note, however, that the way of offering a prayer may differ at some shrines. First, drop a coin offering into the offertory box, and if there is a bell available, ring it gently with the rope before beginning your prayer. During the winter, be sure to bring a disposable hand warmer with you or dress adequately since the shrine is usually outdoors and will be chilly.

Walk straight toward the enshrined deity with good posture.

Straighten your back, then bow twice at a 90 degree angle.

Align both hands in front of your chest and clap your hands together twice.

Realign your hands without spreading your fingers, and finally bow once more.

Reference links:
JINJA HONCHO Procedure for Worshipping

Feature article “Information about the New Year in Sapporo, including hatsumode and hatsuhinode

About the Hokkaido Shrine

Useful Information