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Kyoto

Oversea, Travel

Best Personal Souvenir From Japan – Goshuin-Chō 御朱印帳

When I was writing about my Nara trip early this year (2017), I first mentioned about goshuin-chō 御朱印帳 and that it’s the best souvenir one can get for oneself from Japan. At that time, I was visiting Todai-ji 東大寺, my very first temple visit in Japan, where I came across this seal book. Although I came to know about goshuin-chō (pre-trip) and decided not to get it (pre-trip also), I was in deep dilemma when facing the real deal. “Should I get it or should I not get it?” Ohh I asked this questions many times in my head and to my travel partners.

My heart told me to get it because it’s a very unique momento as one can only get it in Japan.
My mind told me “Hey, it’s expensive!”. “You need to pay for the seal book and also the seals.”

In the end, I went with my heart. ❤️
Did I made the right choice? Wholeheartedly a big YES!

For those who has never heard of goshuin-chō, you must be scratching your head by now. Allow me to explain what it is and the thrills of collecting goshuin 御朱印 (seals) at temples and shrines as well as watching getting it sealed.

What’s goshuin-chō?

Goshuin-chō 御朱印帳 (Seal Book)


Goshuin-chō 御朱印帳 or also known as shuin-chō 朱印帳 is a seal/stamp book. ‘Go’ 御 is an honorific prefix. As the name suggest, it’s a book where you get the pages stamp with special seals of the temples and shrines you are visiting. The book has an ancient style format called orihon 折本 which was and still is use in China and later Japan for Buddhist texts. The orihon is a folding book style, folded in continuous zig zag format like an accordion or concertina. I, myself own a small orihon printed with Buddhist mantras.
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Oversea, Travel

Kyoto & Mishima Day 8: Shinkansen & Beautiful Mishima (Part 1)

My 2016 Japan travelogue so far:
Osaka Day 1: Ana Crowne Plaza & Sennichimae Doguyasuji
Osaka Day 2: Osaka Station, Kuromon Market & Dotonbori
Nara Day 3: Todai-ji, Cheeky Deer & Fall Foliage
Osaka + Kyoto Day 4: Nishiki Market & Len Kyoto Kawaramachi
Kyoto Day 5: Kiyomizu-dera, Sannen-zaka & Ninen-zaka (Part 1)
Kyoto Day 5: Kōdai-ji (Part 2)
Kyoto Day 6: Autumn At Beautiful Arashiyama & Kyoto Station
Kyoto Day 7: Fushimi Inari Taisha & Yasaka Shrine

Finally I’ve reached the half way blogging point of my Japan trip. Took me 6 months since my trip back in Nov-Dec last year to reach this mark. LOL Anyway, I’m planning to complete this travelogue ASAP, hopefully before November so that those planning this trip for autumn can get some tips from my Japan posts.

Here’s day 8!

On this day, we’re leaving Kyoto for Fujikawaguchiko. It has been my lifelong dream to see Mount Fuji with my naked eyes and there’s no way I would come to Japan and skip it. There are many places where one can view Mount Fuji. The famous of the lots are Hakone, Kamakura, Lake Kawaguchi, Gotemba, etc. I choose Lake Kawaguchi (Kawaguchiko) which is located at Fujikawaguchiko (town) because I think it has the best overall view of this gigantic mountain. This is based on the images I found in WWW.

Fujikawaguchiko is located at Yamanashi prefecture. To come here from Kyoto, I took shinkansen from Kyoto Station to Mishima Station. And from Mishima Station, I boarded a bus to Kawaguchiko Station. Sounds easy, right? Come now… I’ll describe the journey in detailed.

When I was in Osaka on day 2, I visited the JR ticket office in Osaka Station and bought advance Shinkansen tickets for the Kyoto-Mishima route. I don’t like buying tickets at the last moment due to the probability of tickets selling out and then having to change schedule and everything. It’ll wreck the holiday no doubt. So I got it in advance. Also, if you’re in a group, it’s better to buy in advance so the probability of sitting together is higher.

We woke up at 4.20am on day 8. Had our breakfast (I ate tuna egg sandwich), proceed to give one final check with our luggage and then check out from Len Kyoto. Check out was easy. Just drop the key at the reception (no one was there) and exit via their side door. Then we crossed the road and waited for taxi at the bus stand at around 6.20am. Thankfully, we managed to flag one down in less than 5 minutes.

When I sent an email to Len Kyoto before reserving our rooms, they told us that they can book a taxi for us. But when we requested them to book a taxi for us on day 7, they told us to just wait for one.

Taxi fare from Len Kyoto to Kyoto Station is 830 yen. The fare is exactly as when we took a taxi from Kyoto Station to Len Kyoto on day 4.

The taxi driver asked us where we’re going in Kyoto Station and then dropped us at Hachijo dori side since it’s the nearest to the shinkansen tracks. The journey took 10 minutes.

Kyoto Station @ Kyoto
Enter here for shinkansen (bullet train). This gate is for regular ticket which is your base fare ticket. We don’t have one. We only have one type of ticket which is the shinkansen ticket. So we just showed the operator our tickets and they opened the gate to allow us through.
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Oversea, Travel

Kyoto Day 7: Fushimi Inari Taisha & Yasaka Shrine

My 2016 Japan travelogue so far:
Osaka Day 1: Ana Crowne Plaza & Sennichimae Doguyasuji
Osaka Day 2: Osaka Station, Kuromon Market & Dotonbori
Nara Day 3: Todai-ji, Cheeky Deer & Fall Foliage
Osaka + Kyoto Day 4: Nishiki Market & Len Kyoto Kawaramachi
Kyoto Day 5: Kiyomizu-dera, Sannen-zaka & Ninen-zaka (Part 1)
Kyoto Day 5: Kōdai-ji (Part 2)
Kyoto Day 6: Autumn At Beautiful Arashiyama & Kyoto Station

Woke up at 7am and it was raining. Our first rain in Japan and it’ll be a new experience.

Instant Noodles Breakfast @ Kyoto
It was yet another instant noodles breakfast. I had tonkotsu ramen while my sis went for kitsune udon, which is our travel theme today because we’re visiting Fushimi Inari Taisha later on and it has everything to do with kitsune udon. Hehe Btw, kitsune means fox in Japan.

Tsk, my tonkotsu ramen was REALLY salty. Arghh!
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Oversea, Travel

Kyoto Day 6: Autumn At Beautiful Arashiyama & Kyoto Station

My 2016 Japan travelogue so far:
Osaka Day 1: Ana Crowne Plaza & Sennichimae Doguyasuji
Osaka Day 2: Osaka Station, Kuromon Market & Dotonbori
Nara Day 3: Todai-ji, Cheeky Deer & Fall Foliage
Osaka + Kyoto Day 4: Nishiki Market & Len Kyoto Kawaramachi
Kyoto Day 5: Kiyomizu-dera, Sannen-zaka & Ninen-zaka (Part 1)
Kyoto Day 5: Kōdai-ji (Part 2)

Woke up at 7.40am.

Instant Noodles For Breakfast @ Kyoto
Had pork and seafood Cup Noodles from Nissin for breakfast on day 6. Cost 184 yen each from Daily Yamazaki.
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Oversea, Travel

Kyoto Day 5: Kōdai-ji (Part 2)

My 2016 Japan travelogue so far:
Osaka Day 1: Ana Crowne Plaza & Sennichimae Doguyasuji
Osaka Day 2: Osaka Station, Kuromon Market & Dotonbori
Nara Day 3: Todai-ji, Cheeky Deer & Fall Foliage
Osaka + Kyoto Day 4: Nishiki Market & Len Kyoto Kawaramachi
Kyoto Day 5: Kiyomizu-dera, Sannen-zaka & Ninen-zaka (Part 1)

Here’s part 2 of day 5…

Nene-no-Michi ねねの道 @ Kyoto
After Ninen-zaka, we came to another famous street called Nene-no-Michi ねねの道 (Nene’s Street), named after a noblewoman. Nene is also known by the title “Kita no Mandokoro”.
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