Temple Stamp – Goshuuin

Priests walk in high
wooden clogs as rain falls through
cherry blossoms

books are beautifully made with pretty fabric covers and 20 or so concertina paper pages. They’re sold at almost every temple in Japan for around 500 yen. Buy one at the first temple you visit, and then you can fill up the pages as you travel through Japan. 

Each temple has a calligrapher who, for a few hundred yen, will stamp your book with the temple’s vermillion red seal, and add the date and temple name in skillful ink strokes. The calligraphy is all in Japanese and can be quite difficult even for Japanese speakers to decipher, so you might want to keep a separate list in English to help you remember which page refers to which temple. But the result? A book full of calligraphy to document the temples visited on your journey through Japan. 

Usually if a temple or shrine does shuuin, it will be around the place they sell mikuji and souvenirs. You can look for the 朱印 kanji, or even just ask a miko, temple assistant, “shuuin wa doko desu ka?” and they can point you toward it.