Another familiar sight at Shinto shrines are the rope and bell in front of the altar as you look into the inner room. There is often an “offering box” with slates through which visitors can drop coins as a donation to the shrine. Visitors can ring the bell after making an offering. The sound of the bell is meant to alert the kami of one’s presence before praying.
The photo at right is of the rope and bells hanging at the Wakamiya Inari Shrine.