When you visit temples and shrines in Japan, one of the first things you might notice is the fact that they all seem to have a small, stone fountains with ladles perched on top. These are called Chozuya / Temizuya, people use them to “purify” themselves with water before going inside the Temple or Shrine.
The Chozuya / Temizuya is typically made of stone, with a wooden, triangular roof, and a decorative spout that leads into a pool of water. There will be several wooden or metallic ladles over the pool of water.
Even the smallest shrines or temples usually have a Chozuya / Temizuya. Asakusa Temple (Sensoji Temple) is no different. Their fountain is located near the lower, right corner of the steps. Thankfully, using one is very simple.
1. Grasp the ladle with your right hand and pour the water over your left hand
2. Switch hands with the ladle
3. Grasp the ladle with your left hand and pour the water over your right hand
4. (Optional) Switch hands with the ladle, pour water into your cupped left hand, drink it, swish it around in your mouth for a couple seconds, and spit it out on the ground
5. Tilt the handle perpendicular and let water run down the handle of the ladle, cleaning it
Using the Chozuya / Temizuya at Asakusa Temple in Asakusa is fun and increases the cultural value you will take away from the temple. The Chozuya / Temizuya is located at the lower, right corner of the steps to the Asakusa Temple.