One of the reasons to visit Japan is to tour some of their unique temples and shrines scattered across the country. You may have heard of a few such as Fushimi Inari-taisha shrine made famous by the movie, "Memoirs of a Geisha". Kyoto, Nara, and other old cities of Japan are well known destinations for visiting some of the most amazing temples and shrines. A way to commemorate your trip to such places is by purchasing a goshuinchou.
How to Acquire a Goshuinchou
A goshuinchou is a hardcover notebook that folds out with pages for collecting temple and shrine stamps. They can be purchased from many temples and shrines between ¥1000 and ¥2000 ($10 to $20) depending on design and ornateness of the book. Many places sell standard style notebooks along with special ones unique to the temple or shrine. Some places offer accessories for the notebooks such as a pouch available at Kinkaku-ji in Kyoto, Japan.
Collecting Temple and Shrine Stamps
Once you acquire a goshuinchou book, you can collect stamps from most of the temples and shrines that allow visitors. For around ¥300 to ¥500 ($3 to $5), a calligrapher will write the stamp in your book. Stamps represent the place's name, date of visit, and a prayer. They can be quite distinct from one place to another. It is very interesting to watch someone create the stamp. You may have to wait or retrieve your book at the end of a tour if the place is busy. Other times, places will give you a stamp sheet to include in your goshuinchou instead of actually writing in it.
A Keepsake to Remember
The best part about having a goshuinchou is to have a keepsake and memory of your travels across Japan to some of the most amazing sites. It is also a great talking piece to show guests and family when sharing stories of your trip. In addition, you can bring it back for future trips and collect stamps at other temples and shrines.
Nanzen-ji Temple in Kyoto, Japan
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