Learn About Japanese Temple Seal Books
If you are traveling to Japan, one of the coolest souvenirs you can buy is a Goshuin-cho!
Goshuin-cho is a book for collecting the unique seal of each temple that you visit in Japan.
|pages inside the book|
The artist or priest will then affix the temple's unique seal in red ink. Sometimes they will also include a slip of paper (occasionally in English, but most often in Japanese) explaining what they wrote and what it means.
|applying the official seal|
You can get books with plain covers, but it's popular to buy a book with the cover depicting your first seal. The covers come in all sorts of colors and designs.
I picked up my first Goshuin-cho at Kiyomizu-dera Temple in Kyoto, Japan. The front cover shows the most famous view of the temple embossed in gold.
|Goshuin-cho from Kiyomizu-dera Temple in Kyoto|
If you can't read Japanese, or even if you can, but can't read calligraphy, it might be a good idea to keep a list of where each page was stamped.
Each seal usually costs ¥300, and proceeds go towards maintaining the temple.
|two of the pages inside|
Watch our Japan travelogue video to see more about Goshuin-cho (4:00 mark for Kiyomizu-dera Temple).