Do you remember the time when the best hobby ever was collecting cards? I loved the Digimon ones, but had plenty of different things. Sadly enough, growing up for me meant stopping collecting children’s stuff, as I tried to become more serious…

… Yeah, funny joke, did you fall for it?

Anyway, those who love traditional Japan and collecting things will be happy to know that there’s a word to combine them both: Goshuincho.

Picture from internet, the only one which is not mine.

Goshuincho is a book sold in the major temples and shrines to collect the red stamps (shuin); prices go from 800 to 1500 yen and there are different colors and kinds. I bought mine at Yushima Tenmagu Shrine, near my place, with the first stamp included.

For japanese people is a way to show their faith and have a charm with them, but it can also be a gorgeous souvenir.

So, how do you get one?

First, remember that a temple is a sacred building, so don’t forget to purify your hands and mouth with the water at the entrance; the Goshuincho are exposed with the lucky charm and written oracle, so you can’t miss it.

Once bought, you’ll be asked to wait while the monk or the priestess is preparing the page; usually they’re going to write down the name of the temple and the japanese date, before adding the red stamp.

As every monk has its own style, every Goshuin is different and unique.

Once you get the first stamp, you just to carry your book with you in any temple or shrine and give it to the monk at the charm stand. They’ll ask you to decide on which page do you want it and a donation, which is usually 300 yen (or 500 yen).

My collection so far! 

You can decided to use both side of the Goshuincho; I was too scared of ruining mine, so I just wrote the name of the corresponding temple and the date (the stamps are very beautiful, but kinda hard to read sometimes).


What’s left to say? I’m still kicking myself for not knowing about it sooner, losing the chance to get one from Kyoto, but I’m satisfied with my collection so far and it has become my little priceless tresure.

What are you waiting for? Choose your book and start a new adventure!

Ps: my first post using the school’s Ipad… I feel so smart!

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Besoin d’un vétérinaire! 獣医緊急!

On October 19, 2015, in Française, Life in Japan, by 01. ScillaChan

Mon bébé (mon chat) Kawaii est tombé de mon balcon jeudi matin! Heureusement on est au 2ème étage seulement (enfin premier pour les européens… les japonais ne compte pas le rez-de-chaussée, ou plutôt il le considère comme étant le premier étage.) Quel stresse! J’avais pourtant mis des protections, mais elle a réussi à passer, cette chipie! Et en tentant de rentrer, elle est tomber juste avant que j’aille pu lever le filet. Schblammmm par terre! Le choc a été violent mais malgré le fait qu’elle fut un peu sonnée, avec l’adrénaline, elle s’est relevée directe et a pris la poudre d’escampette!

Ma Kawaii est tombée du balcon! (more…)

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Lundi, j’ai voulu tester un bar à thème comme il y en a beaucoup au Japon. C’est la période d’Halloween, donc avec des amis, nous sommes allés au Lock up de Shinjuku. C’est un bar sur le thème horreur avec des animation. Il est assez réputé d’ailleurs pour ses animations particulières. Bref, j’ai testé The Lock Up Shinjuku!

Entrée du Lock Up Shinjuku

Il n’est pas très difficile à trouver car situé à l’entrée de Kabukicho et vous avez des rabatteurs déguisés qui se trouve juste au pieds de l’immeuble. Depuis la Station JR Shinjuku, sortie Est, il vous faudra 5 minutes à pied. Sortez de la station de Shinjuku par la sortie Est, direction le fameux studio ALTA. (pour les fumeurs, il y a justement une zone fumeur pas très loin, sur votre gauche plus ou moins le long des voies de trains…). Quand vous regardez le Studio ALTA (donc avec la station de Shinjuku dans votre dos) prenez la rue qui est à votre gauche, rue piétonne, et avancer tout droit direction Kabukicho. Traversez la grande avenue et normalement vous devriez retrouver  le bâtiment du Loch Up juste un peu sur votre droite.
Dès votre arrivée dans le bar, vous êtes dans l’ambiance. On vous conduit à votre cellule menottes aux poignets et on peut déjà apercevoir un peu de l’ambiance général avec les serveurs déguisés.

 IMG_0832 IMG_0833 IMG_0837

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What’s a Gasshuku?

On September 29, 2015, in English, Life in Japan, School Life, Travel, by 03. Aaron

Hey all! Last week was silver week here in Japan so during my time off I went on a Gasshuku (合宿) with my dance club! Went went out out into the mountains in Nagano, not to be confused with Nakano-ku in Tokyo! It’s a 4-5 hour drive there from Tokyo so we went by bus. Did you know that some Japanese buses have built in karaoke machines? I didn’t but I was glad I was sitting in the front because we got to sing out hearts out, probably to the discontent of all of our younger members(後輩)sitting in the back. We rented out pretty much a whole hotel in order to practice and have a lot of fun, which is pretty much what a gasshuku is !  We had about 200~250 people at the hotel for 3 days and 2 nights. The main reason we rented out the huge place is we have a big performance, the school festival (学際) coming up at the beginning of November.

There is a large gym there so we broke up into our respective groups based on dance-style and spend most of the our time from morning to evening practicing for the school festival. I’m a third-year member within the club so it’s up to me and the students in the same year as me to create the choreography and teach it to all of the new members. On the first night we mostly had a lot of people staying up late partying in small groups in various rooms. Late at night 4 of my friends and I snuck into other people’s rooms while they slept and drew on their faces and covered them in glitter, which seems to be a pretty common activity for my group. On the second night we had a lot more group activities! After dinner we crowded into a large hall and had a 2on2 freestyle dance battle for active members in the circle, meaning that battlers don’t know what the music will be but they have to do their best to dance to it. The judges were 3 people who have already “retired” from the circle in order to do things like job hunting. Somehow how my team was able to win the dance battle and we both received matching shirts from the hotel to celebrate our victory!


Afterwards we had a big drinking party (飲み会) in which the 3rd years were made to drink a lot because this is our last performance before we have to “retire” from the circle! It was a lot of fun! Somehow I was still able to move around for the last day of the gasshuku. There was no practice on the final day so two of my friends and I decided to climb one of the mountains overlooking the hotel because the weather was great and we could still move. It was a really rough climb because of the night before but the weather was great and the view made it worth it. At the bottom right you can see part of the hotel!


I think gasshuku are really fun and I wish I’d had a chance to experience them more before this. Either way it was a great experience!


はじめまして、I’m Aaron!

On September 27, 2015, in English, Self-introduction, by 03. Aaron

Hello, I’m Aaron Shaw from Kai’s 6-Morning class! I’m from North Carolina in America and this is my second time living in Japan. The first time was when I studied abroad at Sophia University for the 2013-2014 school year. I just graduated from university with a degree in Accounting in May and I came back to Japan to study at Kai this past June. I’m still part of a dance club at Sophia University from the time when I studied abroad there, so expect a few posts relating to club life/activities! Once I finish Kai’s level 8 class I plan to move on to graduate school here in Japan.

As you might expect most of my free time goes into studying for the JLPT/class and practicing dance. When I’m not doing one of those activities I tend to enjoy activities such as visiting onsen/sentou (public baths), going to karaoke, trying new restaurants, and going out drinking. I’m a rather social person so I don’t like spending too much time alone in my room. As a result I ended up choosing a share house as a place to live in! I live along the Seibu-Shinjuku line, which means that if I tell someone the name of my station they look at me funny because they’ve never heard of it! Luckily the area I live in is nice and quiet with all sorts of stores around.

Nice to meet you and I hope you enjoy my posts!

Madame Tussauds Wax Museum in Odaiba