Shinto is the Japanese Native Religion which worships the nature and ancestors. So, it is the polytheism. Unlike Christianity, Islamism or other monotheistic religion, the idea of Shinto is that everything has the sprits of Gods. It is more likely polytheism of Ancient Roman Empire. The Sprits of Japanese Gods have different prayer answered which based on the myth and historic note. For example, Ebisu is God for business. Japanese pray at Ebisu Shrine for their success of business.
In Shinto, not only sprits of Gods could be enshrined, but also people who had great achievement could be worshiped and enshrined. This deification is based on Japanese respect to the their ancestor, and they believe their ancestor will protect and support their life on current world. For example, some of the great scholars became the God of Learning and Education.
The Shinto Idea is directly effected Japanese identity which Japanese respect the natures and ancestors. The shrines are placed on the holly spot where Japanese believe that the Sprits of Gods are enshrined. When Japanese bow to the place as baseball players bow to the field before they play, they show their great respect to God of the place, and pray their safety for any events.
Japanese respect natures, ancestors and each other. When Japanese pray to the sprits of Gods, it is not showing the great faith to their Gods, it is showing great respects to their Gods. Japanese idea of religion is not based on the faith, but based on the respect. That's why people are not allowed to see the sprits of Gods. All the shrines are barriered in the shrine, and only priest see the sprits of Gods.
Bow before entering Torii GatePlease bow before entering Torii Gate. In side of the Shrine is the holly place for enshrined Gods. You have to show the respect of Gods of the shrine.
DO NOT WALK on the CENTER of Torii Gate and ApproachThe Center Line from Torii Gate and the main approach to the main shrine is called "Sei-chu." Sei-chu is the pass of Gods, so you should walk the side of Torii Gate and Approach.
Cleaning your body and mind at Water Place before visiting the main shrine
Take off your hat or cap
Throw your coin in to offertory boxThere is no specific amount of coin you should throw. Heart is important, not the amount.
Ring the bell You should ring the bell when it place at the shrine. The sound of the bell call God into the shrine.
Two Bowings, Two Claps, and One Bowing This is how you should pray at the Shrine.
Omamori is the amulet or lucky charm which has great benefit from the enshrined Gods
Each Omamori has diffrent benefit you will receive, and the way to treat Omamori is different. Here is the list of common benefits of Omamori.
TAKE OFF YOUR SHOES before entering inside of the main shrine
DO NOT TAKE A PHOTOGRAPH on the line of "Sei-Chu, the center line."
You should Never take a photograph on the line of the center line from Torii gate, approach to the main shrine. If you want to take a photo, step off from the center, then take your picture.
Refrain from talking in front of the main Shrine, especially in front of offertory box.Also please do not disturb other prayers.
Refrain from taking a photograph during the ceremony by Shinto priest.
Shrine is not a travel spot where you can enjoy sightseeingPlease check out the enshrined Gods and benefits of each shrine before you visit. Then, visit the shrine to pray for your luck. The shrine and Shinto are open to everyone, no matter what kinds of religious background.