Shinto has been the main religion in Japan since ancient times, centering on the ideas of Japanese intimacy with nature and ancestor worship. All things on earth were brought forth and ruled over by the gods who reside throughout all nature. Mountains and trees often become an object of worship, and the shrine archway and sacred Shinto ropes mark the gods' sacred areas.
Buddhism in Japan
While Japan's first main religion is Shinto, the second main religion is Buddhism which was imported in Japan with the silk route. It originated in India and came to Japan through China and Korea and thus has many influences from Chinese and Korean style Buddhism and Buddhist architecture.
Shinto Goddess Amaterasu Omikami
Amaterasu is the incarnate goddess as the Sun that governs the Universe and the main deity of Japanese Shinto. It is believed that the royal family of Japan descends directly from this important goddess.
Small amulets called 'omamori' are sold at shrines or temples in Japan. The word omamori means 'protection' and these objects are amulets that are generally meant to give good luck to the person who acquires them.
Shinto Shrines in Japan
Whether you are in a large city like Tokyo or in a small village in the countryside, a Shinto shrine is never far away in Japan. Many Japanese people are not particularly religious or pious, but many people still feel a connection with shrines and what they represent.