Shinto in ancient Japan was not so much as a religion as it was a way of life. It only started becoming a fully fledged religion around the time that Buddhism was introduced, as people started seeing and comparing the two. Shinto has no holy book, much unlike Christianity, who focus on the bible. When this way of life converted into a religion around the induction of Buddhism, it actually integrated Buddhism at first, but then grew further apart as the years went by, and tensions rose. In the 16th century, a branch of Shinto was formed called Watarai Shinto, which was against the integration all together, and wanted to form a pure Japanese version.
The word “Shinto” is in fact a Chinese word consisting of two characters, the first meaning “Kami” or “Gods”, and the second meaning “way” or “path”. This means that Shinto pretty much directly translates into Way of the Gods.(See Shinto Beliefs for more information.)