Whether you're currently living in Japan or plan to visit in the future, it's likely that you'll want a keepsake from your time here. If I had to pick a perfect souvenir, it'd be a goshuin - and I only hopped on the bandwagon quite late in my time living in Japan. These books are used to collect "stamps" from different shrines across Japan, and there's a few reasons why I think they're amazing.
They're an ultra portable souvenir
I've often had times during my travels where I've enthusiastically picked up a souvenir only to think "how am I meant to get this home with me now?". Thankfully, that's not a problem with a goshuin! It's super easy to just stash away in a backpack or handbag, and since they're quite light, you won't be worrying about things like baggage weight limits.
Each stamp is like a work of art
Another thing I love about having a goshuin is that the stamps at each shrine really are like mini works of art. The calligraphy for each stamp ranges from highly intricate and ornate to beautifully simplistic, and exploring the differences between each of them is part of the appeal. Watching the stamp calligraphy being completed is really impressive as well - there's something soothing about watching the brush strokes being effortlessly made.
It's an inexpensive way to chronicle your journeys in Japan
Let's face it - some souvenirs are expensive, and we don't always have the budget to drop a small fortune on a keepsake. One of the best things about a goshuin is that it's a very inexpensive way to document your travels across Japan. My book was around 1000 yen at Izumo Taisha Shrine in Shimane, and the actual stamps have varied in cost from being completely free to a couple of hundred yen (around $2 USD).