Proper Manners at Temple

The following steps are recommended, but not compulsory.

1 Main Gate
First, in front of the gate bow once facing the Main Hall.
2 Wash Basin
t is a place to wash one's hands and mouth as well as to put on the wagesa (purple scarf) and juzu (Buddhist rosary).
3 Bell Tower
Ring the bell upon arrival. It is considered bad luck to ring when leaving. Some temples have limited hours for ringing the bell. Please adhere to the rule.
4 Main Hall
Place your osamefuda (nameslip) and shakyo (copy of sutra) in the box. Light incenses and candles. Put a donation into the offertory box. And, put one fs hands together and recite the sutras. It is standard to begin with the Heart Sutra, then go on to the Gohonzon mantra and Goeigo sutra. But, it is OK to pray silently too. Later on, you would learn and recite them.
5 Taishi Hall
Worship in the same way as at the Main Hall.
6 Stamp Office
Receive the temple stamps in your Nokyocho (stamp book).
7 Main Gate
Face the Main Gate and bow once.



pilgrim to the Shikoku 88 temples.
he 8th Patriarch of Vajrayana Buddhism and the founder of Shingon. He distinguished this new form of Buddhism from the ones already practiced, and actively spread the teachings in Japan. He is accredited as visiting all 88 temples in the Shikoku pilgrimage. So, people believe that the pilgrimage is a journey which can trace his footsteps.
Dogyo Ninin
literally "A Practice by Two People". This means that a henro (pilgrim) is always with Kukai and secure under his protection, even when traveling alone.
Hannya Shingyo
Heart Sutra. It is made up of 262 Chinese characters, recognized as one of the most highly abbreviate version of the Perfection of Wisdom texts.
literally "True Word". This is also called the “Japanese Esoteric Buddhism”. The ideas were introduced to Japan by Kukai in the 9th Century.
hospitality (in material or non-material) to pilgrims. See Osettai in details.
Visiting all 88 temples in order in a journey.
Separately visiting some parts of 88 temples in different times.
Sakauchi/ Gyakuuchi
Doing the pilgrimage in reverse order. This is said to be three times more difficult than Toshiuchi because the direction signs point the other way.


*The above information refers to ‘Shikoku Japan 88 Rout Guide’ from Buyodo.Co.Ltd.