🗾 Goshuin notebook (朱印帳): what is it and why it's the perfect souvenir from Japan

Lately, I've developed an addiction to visit shrines and temples and have their seals (御朱印) stamped on my goshuincho (朱印帳): it is a special Japanese book that you can buy in bookstores and stationary stores (like Yurindo or Loft) or directly when visiting a shrine or temple. 
I got mine at the first temple that I visited, Sensō-ji temple in Tokyo. After finishing it, I bought a second one (pictured below) at Tōshō-gū shrine, located in Ueno Park (always Tokyo) and the third one while on Miyajima Island, ten minutes of ferry boat ride from Hiroshima.

The word means ‘Honourable Red Stamp Book’ and that's exactly what you're going to get: the shrine/temple specific red seal and its name and date of visit hand-written in black. 

The book can cost between 1,000/2,000¥, while the stamp's cost is around 300/500¥ each. 
This is not to be mistaken with the stamps you can collect at the exit of Japan's trains stations or while visiting castles all over the country. 
Be carefull! It's can quickly become an hobby, like it happened to me. 
Goshuincho Heian Shrine Cover
IG credit: @gakunya
Both the goshuin and seal stamps come with different designs and patterners and it's hard to choose the best one! It depends from your tastes: it you want something traditional / Japan related or a monochrome and simple one...you can also find some anime related stamp books, like this one below at Tagaki Shrine, near Tokyo Sky-Tree tower!
or with Japan's most famous cat: Hello Kitty!
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Why is the perfect souvenir from Japan?
It's practically a journal of the places you visited while in the country and, beside being original and not the same old magnet or manga/anime related good, it can be considered a piece of art: not only the stamp book itself, but the stamps inside it as well. They can go from being the simplier shrines/temples signatures to real proofs of artistry - check my IG  or HERE for some examples!
Hiyoshi Shrine (Fukuoka Prefecture)
Kotohira Shrine (Kawasaki Prefecture)
Usually the book covers are made out of fabrics, but some major shrines, like Samukawa  Jinja Shrine, have also wooden cover books and I think they'd make a great gift for people who loves traditions and have a taste of Old Japan.
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 wooden goshuin from Koyasan temple (Ito prefecture)
my personal second goshuin from Tōshō-gū Shrine in Ueno Park, in Tokyo
IG credit: @tk.0bo7
IG credit: @purpleheart168

There are also many Instagram shops profile that sell stamp books, my favourite are:

Kyofushimisenkacyo - link HERE
Raoshin - link HERE
Omairi - link HERE


Ph: ninnaji.jp, 4travel.jp, amazon.jp, u-netsurf.ne.jp Tomoya Nagase IG profile HERE

2 comments

  1. Oh my that is SUCH a cool idea!!! Definitely if I ever visit Japan (which I would SOOO love to do one day), I am going to get one of these!!!

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    1. I definitely became addicted, I kept carry my goshuin everywhere! I finished two in 4 months! You should check online or on IG which one you like best because there're so many of them and they're all amazing!

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