When people pray for special wishes at shrines, they offer wooden tablets with pictures. That is called "Ema". Ema literally means "a picture of a horse". In the past time, the picture of ema was a horse. It means that a horse was offered to a shrine in the past. In the present time, various pictures are drawn in an ema.
The following steps are the procedure to use an ema:
1 Buy an ema for 500 yen.
2 Write down your wishes on the blank side.
3 Hang it in the shrine.
4 It is kept until next year after a Shinto priest pray for wishes.