As I have been job hunting recently, I thought it might be a good time to visit a shrine and pray for some good luck! To do this we visited a shrine on Tuesday in a place called Sumiyoshi in the southern regions of Osaka which is the headquarters of 2000 'Sumiyoshi-Sha' Shrines across the country.
I was told that there is a certain procedure to follow when entering a shrine, firstly when approaching the shrine you should walk along the sides of the bridge, if there is one, rather than the middle. Secondly, you should wash your left hand, using the ladle and water provided at most temples, followed by your right. After washing your hands you should cleanse your mouth by pouring water into your hand then washing out your mouth before spitting it out. After all this you must cleanse the ladle itself by holding it upright so that the water runs down its length.
There are many lucky charms available to buy at the Sumiyoshi shrine, my wife had bought one at this same shrine and was visiting to return it as her wishes had been granted. Inside the charm are three stones, each with a different Japanese character composing the shrines name. In one area of the shrine there is a stone structure containing small stones with the characters written on, when first praying for good luck you must pick up three stones, one for each character, and put them inside the charm (it looks like a small pouch). When returning the charm, the stones must be removed and placed back in to the stone structure, in addition, three blank stones must be collected, the characters written on and placed with the others.