When you come to Japan, you will most likely visit temples and shrines. As much beauty and fascination these Japanese temples and shrines bring to you, there is one more thing you can do, that is beneficial and entertaining.
That is, to collect one of these 御朱印 “goshuin”, which are like a seal or signature of each temple or shrine. Every temple and shrine has its’ own goshuin, and its’ own meaning behind it. Every visitor to the shrine/temple can get one of these, which soon can become a beautiful collection.
Isn’t it beautiful?
Goshuin can be made in front of you by the priest, which is also a sight to see. The beauty of the brush strokes and the artistic peacefulness of the experience is a true cultural moment. Some goshuins are free, and others usually only cost about 300yen – 500yen, and it becomes a souvenir, good fortune charm, and proof that you came to the temple or shrine.
Those that become collectors usually have a little notebook (with no lines!) dedicated to goshuins on each page. This is much recommended! As an etiquette, it’s frowned upon to ask the priest to make one on a random notebook, scrap paper, or memo. Also, we recommend you visit the shrine/temple at earlier times, because some close their gates in the evening.
Of course, the goshuin is a sacred item. But recently, more people are enjoying the art and design side of it. Goshuins may be the most meaningful souvenirs from Japan for you!
Don’t forget, that goshuins are lucky charms, and suppose to bring good fortune. It is very important you take good care of your goshuins, and don’t leave it in your bag for days. It’s suggested that you keep it somewhere that is clean, and it’s also ok to keep it in the drawers of your shelf.
To make the most of your fortune with the goshuin, it’s best to know which temple/shrine to go to. Some temples and shrines are known for certain things, like love, career, money, and health. Therefore, rather than going to a random temple or shrine, you should pick and choose, so that you can make the best of your luck!
So here’s an example of what temple and shrines represent what in life:
Love: Izumi Shrine, Gojoten Shrine, Imado Shrine, Heian Shrine, Izanaki Shrine, Yasaka Shrine
Money: Enoshima Shrine, Fukugawafudou, Zeniarai Benzaiten Ugafuku Shrine, Fushimi-Inari Taisha, Nishinomiya Shrine, Kurumazaki Shrine
Health: Oiwa Shrine, Gyokuhoji, Shimogamo Shrine, Minatogawa Shrine, Chomeji Temple
Career: Atago Shrine, Tsurugaoka Hachimangu, Narita-san, Hiyoshi Taisha, Omiya Shrine, Katsuoji
From kids to the elderly, collecting goshuins can be entertaining and appreciated through all ages. We hope you enjoy your beautiful goshuin collection, and increase your good fortune! ♡
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