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.
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.
Day 15. What did I have for breakfast? I dunno anymore. Haha
Before we leave our hostel to enjoy our very last full day in Japan, we requested our hostel to book a taxi for the next day at the wee hours of 5am.
We also took this chance to soak in the atmosphere of Sumida river that is situated right in front of our hostel.
8.30am fall morning view of Sumida river. Just less than a minute walk from our hostel.
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
Kyoto & Mishima Day 8: Shinkansen & Beautiful Mishima (Part 1)
Fujikawaguchiko Day 8: Kagelow & Kawaguchiko (Part 2)
Fujikawaguchiko & Tokyo Day 9: Mount Fuji Views, Kawaguchiko Natural Living Center & Oishi Park
Tokyo & Urayasu Day 10: Tokyo DisneySea
Tokyo Day 11: Nui. Hostel, Ameyoko & Takeya
Tokyo Day 12: Autumn At University Of Tokyo, Kappabashi Street & Senso-ji
Tokyo Day 13: Autumn Colors At Shinjuku Gyoen & Jingu Gaien Icho Namiki
At this point, after having traveled for 14 days in Japan, things become fuzzy. There are some things that I forgot to do or have forgotten already. One of it is what I ate for breakfast on day 14 (forgot to take a snapshot). Hahaha Anyway, that’s not important.
I actually planned to go to Rikugien for, yet more koyo but decided perhaps it was more than enough already for this trip. Instead, we head to the Farmer’s Market at UNU. Oh yes! ✌️
We left the hostel at 9am and took the subway to Omotesando Station. On the way, my sis chanced upon Moomin’s bowl set at KFC. What else? She bought KFC and are now a proud owner of the Moomin bowl set. Haha
This is the United Nations University or UNU for short, for which the farmers’s market is held every weekend (Sat & Sun) from 10am-4pm. See the tents? It’s also known as Aoyama farmer’s market. We arrived around 10.30am.