Collecting: Commemorative Stamps

Ninna-ji Commemorative Stamp

Some visitors bring stamp books with them and ask at Goten or at the little building next to Kon-do for a stamp to commemorate their visit. The picture above is of a monk completing a page at Goten where the chrysanthemum seal is used. The Japanese notes the name of the temple along with date. You can see the completed version below.Ninna-ji Commemorative StampFor visitors who have left their books at home, there are also completed stamps available on single pieces of paper which can later be pasted into a stamp book. Both options cost some change, in the case of Ninna-ji, ¥300.
Commemorative Stamp Books

Of course if you happen to be in the market for a stamp book, you can find them at many temples and shrines. The stamp books available at Ninna-ji can be seen in the picture above.

Stamp books for the purpose of collecting stamps at shrines and temples are usually not bound like normal books.  Between the front and back covers there is a long piece of paper that is folded like an accordion. The folds demarcate the individual pages. Take a look around the next time you visit a temple, you might see a stamp book to start collecting stamps in! If you can’t find them, you can ask for them in Japanese: the word for the stamp book is “goshuinchō” (said “go-shoe-in-cho”) (御集印帳 or 御朱印帳) to ask for the stamp, just leave off the “cho.”

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