Although with different origin and evolution, Shinto and Japanese Buddhism share some common elements. One of them is the way of receiving the monetary offerings: in front of the main building, you will always find a wooden box called Saisenbako (saisen means “coin offerings"), often beautifully ornate, like the one in my photo, with a special design: the box is covered with a metallic grid, so that the coins thrown in will make a loud noise.
Actually, unlike the usually silent rituals from the western world, the Shinto praying ritual (hairei) is quite loud: the visitor shakes the red-white rope to ring the bell, the coins are thrown in the saisenbako, then the visitor bows two time and claps the hands twice. After remaining for a moment with the hands united in front of the heart, the prayer ends with another bow…
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: