Cuckoo Bird

The cuckoo bird used to be called the yobukodori, or calling bird, in ancient Japanese. Its call always sounded lonely, so people would say "the cuckoo bird is calling" when a store was empty. The word cuckoo is also used in haiku to refer to the season of summer.

Worshippers are hard to come by at Hakurei Shrine due to its location and situation (that is, the rumor that youkai often appear). This leaves the Hakurei shrine maiden Reimu scratching her head.

The frequent appearance of youkai and fairies is probably not the only reason Hakurei Shrine rarely gets visitors. The fact that the shrine maiden Reimu is often absent from the shrine as she goes about resolving incidents is probably part of the cause too.

Shrine grounds form a kind of barrier. You could describe a barrier as a specific set of rules and concepts that is separated from the outside world. Barriers are not limited to religious institutions. Companies, offices, residences, commercial buildings, and even schools can have their own barriers.

The academy only exists in the time and space where the concept of a Lost Word exists. You could call the shrine grounds the school campus. Youkai and supernatural beings still gather, so that remains unchanged. Neither has the fact that there are quiet times of day with few visitors...