There is an extraordinary number of festivals that are organized by shrines. When visiting those, it is a great idea to try a proper O-mairi(to visit, pay homage/respect at a shrine or temple).
The direct translation of O-mairi is ""to come/visit"". It is an expression to the deity of that shrine, stating, ""I have come."" The act of expressing that feeling is the true method of doing O-mairi. In other words, it is a way of greeting the Kami-sama, that is balanced by both mind and form. Therefore, there is no point in learning the form if there is no feeling to it.
Some people tend to get caught up in photographing the beautiful Shinden(main building) and Torii(arch entrance), we recommended focusing your mind, before focusing your lens.
①How to walk the Sando (Sacred walking path)
Avoid walking in the very middle of the path. That is where the deity walks.
②How to walk through the Torii (Arch entrance)
Stop and give a simple bow, like you would when entering the home of someone you respect.
③How to walk through Mon (Gate)
Make sure to step over the threshold. You mustn’t step on it. The threshold has always been the border between the outer world and the shrine grounds, and is considered sacred. Since repetitive stepping on it can lead to deterioration, the custom of avoiding it shows just how much importance Shinto places on taking good care of things.
Insight on Shintoism from Florian Wiltschko
Born in 1987, in Linz, Austria.
From a very young age, Wiltschko took an interest in Japan and gained knowledge through reading. When he was 14, he came to Japan on a family vacation for the first time, and visited many Shrines and Temples, which raised his level of interest even more. In 2007, he entered the Ueno Tenmangu Shrine in Nagoya, and studied about Shinto priesthood while living there. Upon returning home, and graduating from Vienna University in Japanese Studies, he moved to Japan for good and entered Kokugakuin University and majored in Shinto Studies. After graduating from his special training in 2012, he was appointed "gon-negi" (lowest ranking priest) at the Konno Hachimangu Shrine in Shibuya, Tokyo, fulfilling the position for 4 years. From May of 2016, he will continue his priesthood at Nobeno Shrine in Tsu City, Mie Prefecture.