The kamidana is typically placed high on a wall and contains a wide variety of items related to Shinto-style ceremonies, the most prominent of which is the shintai, an object meant to house a chosen kami, thus giving it a physical form to allow worship. Kamidana shintai are most commonly small circular mirrors, though they can also be stones (magatama), jewels, or some other object with largely symbolic value. The kami within the shintai is often the deity of the local shrine or one particular to the house owner's profession. A part of the kami (bunrei) was obtained specifically for that purpose from a shrine through a process called kanjō.
Worship at the kamidana typically consists of the offering of simple prayers, food (e.g., rice, fruit, water) and flowers. Before worshiping at the kamidana it is ritually important for family members to cleanse their hands.
Kamidana can also be found in some traditional Japanese martial art dōjō.