【Visit Japanese Temple】How to pray at the Temple in Japan?

Have you ever visit some Temple in Japan?

Japan has so many beautiful Temples!

However there has some rules for visit Temples in Japan.

Now you can learn some rules about going to Temple in japan with this article!

If you still never been to temple yet or even if you went before,

Let’s knowing about how to visit Japanese Temple and enjoy to visit Temple!

How to pray at the Temple?

There has 5 steps for visiting Temple!

  1. Go through the 山門(SANMON)
  2. Washing your hands in 手水舎(TEMIZUYA)
  3. Give お賽銭(OSAISEN) in 本堂(HONDOU)
  4. Pray in front of 本堂(HONDOU)
  5. Bow at 山門(SANMON)

And the most important things is No.4 [Pray in front of 本堂(HONDOU)].

Now I will explain one by one!

1.Go through the 山門(SANMON)

At first you need to go through the 山門(SANMON)。

What is 山門(SANMON)?

山門(SANMON)is a gate for temple and normally you can see it at the entrance of
the Temple.

like this↓

How to go through the 山門(SANMON)

  1. Bow before through the 山門(SANMON)。

  2. Go through the 山門(SANMON) from your right foot

Please do not step on the tree under the gate which call 敷居(SHIKII) when you go through the 山門(SANMON)

2.Washing your hands in 手水舎(TEMIZUYA)

After get in side the Temple, you will wash your hands and mouth at the 手水舎(TEMIZUYA).

You can clean your hands and mind before praying.

What is 手水舎(TEMIZUYA)?

It is a place to cleanse your mind and body by washing your hands and rinsing your mouth before visiting.

like this↓

How to wash your hands in 手水舎(TEMIZUYA)

  1. Use 柄杓(HISYAKU)which is like a spoon and you can wash your left hand

  2. And then you can wash your right hand

  3. Get water in your left hand and put that water to your mouth and rinsing your mouth
  4. Sprinkle water on your left hand again
  5. Tilt the 柄杓(HISYAKU)to drain excess water


The most important thing is that you need to wash your hand from your left hand.

wash left hand →wash right hand→rinse your mouth with water in your left hand→wash your left hand again→tilt 柄杓(HISYAKU)to drain ecess water

is the right order to wash your hands at 手水舎(TEMIZUYA)

3.Give お賽銭(OSAISEN) in 本堂(HONDOU)

After wash your hands, go to 本堂(HONDOU)and give some coins(money).

What is お賽銭(OSAISEN)and 本堂(HONDOU)?

What is 本堂(HONDOU)?

本堂(HONDOU)is the place where the most important Buddha is, and is the central
place of the temple.

本堂(HONDOU)has many people like this↓

What is お賽銭(OSAISEN)?

Money dedicated to god or buddha

Does not matter about the price you put.

So, you can decided the price whatever you want, but Japanese prefer to put 5 Yen because 5 Yen calls [GOEN]in Japanese and [GOEN] means [edge].

How to giveお賽銭(OSAISEN)

  1. Bow in front of the 本堂(HONDOU).
  2. Put お賽銭(OSEISEN) in the box.

    Box is like that ↓ and this is call お賽銭箱(OSAISENBAKO)

Please do not through お賽銭(OSAISEN)and put gently

5.Pray in front of 本堂(HONODOU)

Now let’s pray in front of the 本堂(HONDOU).

How to pray

  • There has a 鰐口(WANIGUCHI)which is like a big circular bell.
    So you can hit the 鰐口(WANIGUCHI)to ring.(If there has no 鰐口(WANIGUCHI), you can go step②)


  • Close your eyes and gently put your hands together in front of your chest=合掌(GASSHOU)

  • Tell your wishes in your heart
    (The words used in temples different depending on the denomination. )
  • Bow with 合掌(GASSHOU).
  • Leave the 本堂(HONDOU)

Pleaase do not clap in the temple. you can clap in the Shrine

5.Bow at 山門(SANMON)

You need to bow again when you leave the temple.

At the end

I explain about basic rules to visit Japanese temple.

Japan has so many awsome temples.

In the temples, you can see some beautiful garden view or some art things such as Buddha statues and Jizo!


There are many things to see!

Please go one day and pray in there!

If you wish to know more about Japanese or Japanese culture ,also want to study Japanese,
You can book Japanese lesson from this site!

Please check it out !

Have a good day(^-^)

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Sarinaです。 旅行が好きで10カ国以上の国へ行きました!現在はオンラインで日本語教師をしています。 ベトナムやアメリカ、韓国など様々な国の学習ささんと楽しく授業をしています!