bowing is showing your respects at a temple or shrine
I was asked my friend from Europe what are manners at Shrine and Temple. Shrine is Shinto(Japanese original religion) and temple is Buddhist.
I was taught from my grandmother when I go to Shinto shrine, crap my hands and call god , bow and you pray your wishes.
When I go to Temple, I don't crap my hand. Just bow and pray for our ancestors.