What is This Object That Looks Like a House Made out of Wood?
This is called a “Kamidana” (神棚, かみだな). It is an altar to enshrine the god of shintoism, and is kept in different places like your home or in an office. When you put it in your home, you normally pray for your family’s safety and health. In the office, you will pray for the employee’s safety and thriving business.
As you may know, the Japanese people are not so keen to get the right definition of different religions, so even the person believes in shintoism, it won’t mean that they will place a Kamidana. And even if the person believes in Buddhism, they might have a Kamidana in their house. It is because the Japanese people do not specifically distinguish if one belong to Shintoism or Buddhism, so placing a Kamidana is not taken as a religious act (held by the shintoism), but just in hope to bring safety and health to themselves and family around them. (However this also doesn’t mean that they pray toward the kamidana everyday. They normally keep it clean and pray time to time.)