Cashless "Saisen" Offerings Spreading amid COVID-19

Society

Tokyo, Jan. 3 (Jiji Press)--Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of cashless payment methods for "saisen" money offerings to Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples is spreading in Japan, while there are various opinions about the new trend.

Cashless saisen offerings are believed to be effective in preventing COVID-19 infection, as people can avoid crowds forming around saisen throw-in boxes and do not need to touch paper notes or coins.

Such cashless offerings have been seen since before the coronavirus disease began to rapidly spread in January 2020, as cashless methods can prevent theft of money from saisen boxes and allow tourists from overseas to use foreign currencies.

Also behind the trend is the introduction by financial institutions of fees for depositing large amounts of coins.

The spread of COVID-19 has encouraged more shrines and temples, including Higashi Honganji temple in the western city of Kyoto, to adopt cashless saisen systems, as an infection prevention measure.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press