Saturday, 12 December 2009

77 Train Station's Stamp Rally

One of the things one should do when vacationing in Japan is to collect stamps at tourists attractions. The idea is to go to each attraction and get yourself a stamp showing you have been there.

This activity originates from religious pilgrims who would travel all over Japan visiting temples and they would get their prayer book stamped at each temple they visited. Nowadays, you can find these stamps not only in temples, but in tourist centres (Folake tourism center in Tazawako comes to mind), buildings (such as Metropolitan Government Office), museums, zoos, on trains (the steam locomotive Ban-Etsu Monogatari-go), well almost everywhere if you care to look for it.


JR (Japan Railways) has a stamp rally thingy going on while we were in Japan, with 77 train stations with unique stamps for you to go around Tokyo to collect it. Being a train nut, Zaini would've attempted to collect all 77 stamps if we were not pressed for time. If the stamp rally is still on-going next year, you bet he will try and complete his collection!
 
 
The two boys having fun stamping away.

Some random stamps Zaini collected (not necessarily on the 77 train stations routes) :

 
 
 They are kinda cool to collect, don't you agree?

More random stamps in our collection:
 

26 comments:

  1. Hi Lina, here again before I leave for my meeting!

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  2. It must be fun to collect all those, I love the idea!

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  3. Happy Friday to you!

    I guess foong is still busy replying to his comments =P

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  4. @Ayie,
    Yeah, I bet Foong must be busy replying and spamming some more! :D

    Have a great weekend, Ayie!

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  5. What a great idea and being a train enthusiast I would have to have joined in visiting all 77 stations!!

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  6. @Mike,
    An added bonus for train enthusiast to stop at each station.
    You'll enjoy it, I'm sure! :)

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  7. A very good effort to intriguing the kids. But maybe Japanese are not really on to it as the tourist...

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  8. My parents really enjoyed this when they came to Japan. It's a good way to have people stop off at your station. Great marketing JR!

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  9. @Asmaliana,
    On the contrary, Japanese do love this stamp thing. If we need to queue for to stamp our book, we queue with Japanese (local tourists). And most thing done in Japan, to me, is not so much for international tourists but rather for their own domestic market, which is in a way great.

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  10. @sixmats,
    They did? That's cool. It's great fun for both children and adults alike. :)

    Yeah, great marketing by JR. If only we knew about it sooner, with our JR Pass it would've been great (and cheap) for us to travel to all 77 stations. We knew about this rally towards the end of our Japan trip.

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  11. This a different kind of stamp collecting! :)

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  12. Cool! It's really interesting thing to do besides snapping pictures and looking for souvenier when we went for vacations. Such a fresh ideas. I would love to collect all 77 of those stamps. They look sooo pretty as well! It should be fun going around collecting them. Kinda like treasure hunt! lol!

    Good collection Lina! ^.^

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  13. @Mei Teng,
    Indeed they are. And they are special because the stamps at these places do change according to season too.

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  14. @Cassie,
    Definitely something different to bring back as souvenirs. :)
    Those stamps are really nice and they showcased the regions/stations so it is very localised and that made them special.
    And some places, if you collect all stamps and submit them to either their visitors centre or a designated address, you get a prize for your effort. Cool, right?

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  15. What a fun and clever idea! I will definitely participate when I'm there. :)

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  16. @ECL,
    Do. It's great fun. :) And it'll be great to add to your scrapbook if you decide to do one for your trip.

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  17. oh wow the stamps are cute! I like the first one! Looks like an aquarius :P.

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  18. Wow! This is fun! I would love to go stamp collecting too!

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  19. Malaysia should have something like this too. Would be fun! : )

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  20. @ladyviral,
    the one featuring Tatsuko? Yeah, kinda look like an Aquarius. :)

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  21. @foong,
    It is fun. But I wonder whether the stamps (usually put in public places without supervision) will be vandalised or stolen?
    Haa... I'm always thinking of the worst for us Malaysians. :(

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  22. Oh yes you are right! Won't work here in Malaysia. Definitely all will be gone without a trace!

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  23. do we need to bring along our own ink pad for stamping? Also, do we need to purchase special booklet for stamp collection or just according to our own preference???

    sound so much fun..

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  24. @ctmimm,
    but of course the stamp pads are provided along with the stamps.

    You can stamp away on whatever you like. Some places, have sheets / booklets that you can stamp in, and after finishing collecting all the stamps, you can show it to their service counter and get a gift for your effort. Some, but not all such as he TEPCO museum, Fuji TV, etc.

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  25. Came across your blog before my trip, wouldn't have known about the stamps otherwise! Had great fun hunting down the stamping stations. Even had my own stamp pads with me just in case, and they did come in handy. Some stations have a few different stamps, too, e.g. Morioka and Ueno. Thank you for the info!

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  26. hey, thanks for the suggestion of this great idea!! yeah, i've seen those stamps in some temples and shrines i went, but alas, i have brought nothing to "chop" those stamps.. next time i must make myself carry a booklet so that i can collect those stamps, it's worth doing so, much more meaningful than just taking photos!! :)

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