Somewhere in the Planet Tokyo archives is the evidence: I once underwent a week-long rubber stamp obsession. I think my first stamp came from the Tokyo Stock Exchange — memories become hazy after time — and continued, at least, through ten museums and various parks. The goal was simple: visit the venue and prove by placing a rubber stamp in my journal.
I don’t recall where I learned about the rubber stamp tour, but it soon became easy to spot the stamp station. As dotpattern notes:
If you like rubber stamps, take a trip to Japan, where nearly every historical monument has been thoughtfully furnished with a rubber stamp station. Look for a simple card table with stamp pads at train stations, temples and shrines.
Rubber stamp rallies, where stamp collectors visit a series of connected sites. Rallies can lead you through a series of historical sites, train stations, even cool stores. Think scavenger hunt with colored ink. In Tokyo, you can purchase a Grutt Pass — a multi-museum admission ticket for forty-six facilities including museums, art museums, zoos, and aquariums. The Pass is good for two months from purchase. You can build up your stamp collection as you tour the city. The 2005 Pass (final expiration date for passes purchased is March 31, 2006) includes a Stamp Rally. Rally participants who collect 20 or more stamps are eligible for a drawing that includes museum prizes.
Rubber stamps can serve as a unique guide to what you’ve done and where you’ve been in Tokyo. For journal keepers, they add a romantic, unique touch to notes and impressions of the city. If you’re looking for your own rubber stamp, check out the Metropolis’s stationery store recommendations.