How to do the right thing at shrines and temples in Japan

Shrines and temples aren’t just for snapping nice pix – there’s serious specialized goodness to be gotten from throwing a coin to the proper powers-that-be! Here’s how to take advantage of the local supernatural beings’ odd specialties, and do it right: First: Wash your hands It’s polite to ritually purify yourself at the spring nearContinue reading “How to do the right thing at shrines and temples in Japan”

Shrine or temple? The Quickie Guide

You’re craning your neck to see some gorgeous gold-leafed carving, and suddenly you’re overcome with traveler joy. “Isn’t this the most gorgeous…?” Uh oh. Shrine or temple? Because you know that temples are Buddhist and shrines are Shinto (and you don’t want to be that tourist) but which is which? Shrines and temples can both beContinue reading “Shrine or temple? The Quickie Guide”