Insider’s Guide to Shintō Shrines
"Temizuya": The Cleansing Ritual
Continuing along the sandō, we come to the temizuya, situated just in front of the last torii gate, where you will find clear, running water. Before proceeding to the haiden, worshippers stop here to wash their hands and rinse their mouths in an act of ritual purification. This is a simplified, abbreviated version of misogi, the full-body purification rite still practiced by devotees. Originally such ablutions were performed at natural springs or waterways within the shrine grounds, and this is still the case at Ise Shrine, where worshippers cleanse themselves with water from the Isuzu River.
Shintō Cleansing Ritual
The entire process should be performed with a single dipperful of water.
"Temizuya": The Cleansing Ritual (video)
(Banner photo: Temizuya at Izumo Taisha Shrine, Shimane Prefecture. Video produced with the cooperation of Nogi Shrine, Tokyo.)