Eki (and other) Stamps

Something I’ve tried to collect since our first trip to Japan in 2009 is an example of an Eki Stamp from each station we’ve passed through. According to one blog I’ve looked at, there are 9,161 stations in Japan. So far we’ve been through a tiny proportion, and I haven’t managed to collect stamps for all of them yet.

Here’s a mosaic of the JR train station (and one JR ferry port!) stamps I’ve collected so far:

JR Station Stamps mosaic

Click through the image to see the set on Flickr.

I have one double. I had another go at Uji station on our 2012 trip, just because there were penguin-themed pieces of paper next to the stamp!

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This stamp is one of my favourites anyway, because of the depiction of Lady Murasaki Shikibu in front of the Byodoin Temple in Uji. Lady Murasaki set a lot of the Tale of Genji in and around Uji, and Byodoin is a stunningly lovely place to visit. I’ve blogged about our first visit to Uji in 2009. I need to write an update covering our 2012 and 2013 visits.

One thing I’d like to do next time we’re in Tokyo is ride the entire loop of the Yamanote line and collect a stamp from each station. One of the writers on PingMag did just that last year for the 50th anniversary of the Yamanote line.

The blog I’ve linked to at the top of this post has links to other websites and blogs about station stamps in Japan, and also makes the very good point that commemorative stamps aren’t just available at train stations. I’ve picked up a couple from museums and temples as well on our travels. Click through each image below to access websites giving more information about the venue.

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Iga Ueno Ninja Museum stamp

Daikakuji Temple stamp

Daikakuji Temple stamp

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum

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Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum

ASPAM Building stamp

ASPAM Building stamp

Aomori Prefectural Museum stamp

Aomori Prefectural Museum stamp

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Aomori Prefectural Museum stamp

Wa Rasse stamp

Wa Rasse stamp

Hirosaki Castle Keep stamp

Hirosaki Castle Keep stamp

Hirosaki Castle Keep stamp

Hirosaki Castle Keep stamp

Kawasaki Indigo Dyeworks stamp

Kawasaki Indigo Dyeworks stamp

I’m sure these stamps were originally aimed at children, but it’s a fun thing to do. Keep an eye out for the stamps – they’re often inside the ticket gate, sometimes in the staffed area that JR Pass users and people who have problems with their tickets congregate in. Usually they are a self-inking plastic contraption where you slide your paper into the machine and press down on the (usually cream) handle. Sometimes they are the good old hand stamp variety, with an ink pad alongside them for you to get nice and messy with. The ones I’ve missed on our travels so far have been ones that I haven’t been able to spot quickly enough as we rush through the station.

You can buy special books to collect the stamps in, available in Japanese book shops for 500円 and called a スタンプノート (pronounced stanpu noh-toh), but I have a cheap notepad that I use, so that I can stick the stamp into my current travel journal.

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It’s nice to look back through the places we’ve been and see the stamp from the station among my memories and other souvenirs I’ve stuck in there.

5 responses to this post.

  1. […] explore parts of the city that we hadn’t had time to see first time around. After using the station stamp, we followed the sign pointing us to the Town of the Tale of Genji and headed out of the […]

    Reply

  2. Posted by Jo on 31/03/2015 at 9:25 pm

    This is something I saw in a show for Taiwan and came across your blog when searching for these stamp collections. Do you have any advice or know of a map that will allow us to collect all/most of these stamps?

    Reply

    • Hello Jo! It seems as though all JR stations have their own stamp, and a company publishes railway atlases for 7 Japanese regions called Railway Mapples (http://www.mapple.co.jp/english/) – these apparently have station plans that show where the stamps are located. Could be useful, as some are easier to find within the station than others. I’ve never used a map, I’ve just kept my eyes peeled while in transit. I carry a small notepad with me to print the stamp onto, but in Japan you can buy special eki stamp books. Good luck tracking them down!

      Reply

      • Posted by Jo on 04/04/2015 at 10:08 pm

        Thank you so much for the additional info! I will be doing a tour so it may be hard for me to wander off and look for stamps but I am going to keep my eye out at any of the tour stops we go to.

      • You’re welcome! Have fun on your tour. Japan is amazing.

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