Bowing and Clapping at Shinto Shrines

Yumi Murata

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What to Do at Shinto Shrines

Have you ever seen Japanese people bowing and clapping their hands in front of a shrine?

Here I’d like to share with you how we pray in general and why we clap our hands.

How to pray at a Shinto shrine: 6 Steps

1. Bow deeply twice.

Bowing deeply twice

2. Clap your hands twice.

Clapping your hands twice

3. Say your name and address in your head.

4. Thank the deity politely for everything it has done for you.

5. Make a wish. (You shouldn’t make too many requests; limit yourself to just one.)

Making a wish

6. Bow deeply once again. (This signifies the end of the prayer.)

Bowing once again

A reason for clapping our hands:

It is said that why we clap our hands because clapping our hands shows our respect to the deities.

Now you know the proper customs to observe at a Shinto shrine.

When you visit, you will be able to follow the Japanese customs!

The information covered in this article was correct at the time of writing. In the case of national holidays and seasonal holidays, opening hours may vary. If the information has changed, please notify us and we will alter it accordingly.

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