1. Uchimizu means sprinkling water in front of one’s own house or store. It not only keeps down dust but also cools down the temperature through the effect of heat vaporization during the hot summer.
2. This also serves as a Shinto ritual of purification as well as an expression of courtesy to visitors.
3. Until the mid-1970s, uchimizu was part of daily morning duties for townspeople, along with kadohaki (sweeping). Thus, most streets of Kyoto used to be damp most of the time. That scene is infrequent these days with only a limited number of traditional houses and old stores to keep up the custom.
4. There are unwritten rules for uchimizu, such as not sprinkling over neighbors’ areas and during wintertime as it might cause icy roads. So, if you plan to practice uchimizu at home, please use your discretion.