Goshuincho – The Japan Temple/Shrine stamp book

Ever since first visiting Japan in 2011 I have always wanted to get a Goshuincho or “honourable stamp/seal book” used by people visiting shrines or temples. I finally got one during my trip to Mount Fuji at the Arakura Sengen Shrine in Yamanashi Prefecture after falling in love with the design. I, of course, got the stamp at the  Arakura Sengen Shrine and also at the  Fuji Hongu Sengen Taisha; the shrine at the top of Mount Fuji. Here I am now plotting my trek across Japan to acquire more stamps while kicking myself because I should have gotten it earlier and might have to revisit a few places.

Goshuincho

Goshuincho Ancient Tracking System

Back in the day visiting shrines and temples were very important. They are sprinkled all over Japan from major cities to in the middle of the wilderness. Pilgrims, traders, officials and travellers stopped at these places of worship to not only show their respect but also to get the stamp which would serve as proof of their visit and travel route. The stamp would have the name of the shrine, date and time of visit plus other small details in exchange for a small fee. It’s easy to see how a Goshuincho with many stamps became a collector’s item and something to acquire and pass on. I will make more posts in the future as I get more stamps and maybe make a map with all the places I got my stamps pinned.

Arakura Sengen Shrine

Collect all the Stamps!

I am not particularly religious but I am respectful of the shrines and temples that I visit and will visit in my quest to acquire more stamps. It’s kind of like an adult version of Pokemon, gotten get as many of ’em stamps! Do you have a Goshuincho or Temple/Shrine Stamp Book? Leave a comment below or tweet me @Jamaipanese. Tell me how many stamps you have and where I should head next!

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