Buddhism and Shinto mixed in Japan so much that it cannot be strictly separated anymore. Japanese buddhism is also different than other buddhism, becaudse of the Shinto influence.
They did not “steal” chinese lore, things like that mix naturally.
If you’re interested in Shinto and its magic: Definitely Kyoto. Look into Abe no Seimei and the Kamo clan. They did basically what people on this forum do. Abe no Seimei invented using the pentagram to summon and bind spirits to create servitors called shikigami. Before then, magic and sealing magic was done using talismans full of difficult kanji characters, and a lot of yinyang/baguai stuff.
If you look into Asian beliefs and magic you’ll find a lot of things related to energy, binding/sealing, blocking and releasing, often very systematic and fluid - as in, its all around, everywhere, all the time (like Feng Shui which also influence Shinto belief for sure. The reason the Kamo clan was appointed the magicians to protect Kyoto in the first place was because the river was considered demonic).
Buddhism is also a whole study but its applied magic is made easy in the form of chants that you can just recite over and over and they work even when you don’t understand the chant (most people don’t).
A word of warning, Asia has a lot of earthbound spirits and creepy entities. A whole ton, and some really dangerous. It also doesn’t help that calling back the dead is everyday practice.
Most places you can project to Shinto related is not etheric it’s physical projection as etherically many Shinto Gods reside in their own pocket realms, physical shrines and such won’t be there etherically rather on the energetic layer of the physical.
Often times or more times than not there’s house spirits that visit or dwell around them.
Thanks. I figured this out first hand when I had to project to a physic shrine. Got attacked by guardian spirits but I ended up appeasing them my using true sight and just apologizing, saying I was just visiting.
A man inside, sitting crossed legged in front of a statue, said the shrine was devoted to an ascended master. He said they traded what was basically attention and praise for guidance and protection. He taught me a few things while I was there.
“Species?” Are you talking about youkai?
I don’t think there is any type that is completely safe. Some can be friendly to humans with the right mannerism or if you’re lucky. Also, not everything’s what it seem like. Even something that looks like a Buddha can be malicious - while not being actually “demonic” (actually nothing is more dangerous than messing with figures of worship). When you are in a temple try not to offend anyone, and just don’t move anything.
There are a few kinds of yokai I can think of that you could approach for information. I don’t think you should make them your servitors, since you’re not an onmyoji physically present in their areas. As Velenos said, Japanese spirits are usually territorial and lesser spirits thrive in certain actual environments. But here are the few I think of:
Kappa: they live in water bodies and could probably give you pointers and warnings. Give them cucumbers.
Zashiki Warashi: childlike spirits who bring good luck. They might also give you pointers. Don’t ask them about their past, please, and do not let them join you on your journey. They should not leave whichever home they’re dwelling in. You can play ball with them if you want to.
Kitsune (foxes): they should be the most helpful and could lead you to places or introduce you to local gods, but they’re so different from each other (like us, duh). Look for smaller ones who dwell around shrines. If you see ninetails just leave them alone, they’re very close to ascension and don’t have that much free time and if they do, they’d probably want to prank you. Give the kitsune tofu.