Saturday, November 6, 2010

Stamp Rally Riot!

When Sak and I first arrived in Japan, we noticed these random Pokemon signs placed around the train stations.

Sak, somewhat capable of reading Japanese, led us on a hunt to where the sign was leading. Along the way we found more posters.

Eventually we found the posters led to stamp booths. It was a stamp rally! So we grabbed some booklets and started hunting Pokemon stamps at the different stations we visited. Like Harajuku, for example:

We had to collect six different stamps, and once we finished we turned them into a "goal station" for a prize!
We won paper Pokemon hats (of the three new starters for the Black and White games) and a Pikachu train pass holder. I now use the train pass holder for my Clipper card during my commute, it works perfectly!

Anyway, the Pokemon stamp rally wasn't the last we saw - it appears that Japan is obsessed with commemorative stamps! They were everywhere!
Along other train lines (this one was themed for small children).
At castles.
At shrines. Sak didn't have a paper, hence the sad face. I still think it's weird that there's collectable stamps for shrines though. But I guess they were pretty famous shrines!
For Maple Story! I was so excited for this one, but unfortunately we could never find the actual stamp booth. Such a bummer.

In the monkey cage at monkey mountain in Kyoto.

Naruto themed stamp rally around Hakone.
Shinkansen stamp machine! So fancy.

Up in Tokyo Tower.  Another sad face because of lacking booklet for stamping.

At the Ueno Zoo.

Ultraman themed stamp rally.
Heck, even in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. Which again I thought was weird like the shrines. Disrespectful maybe? Maybe I don't have a good enough understanding of Japanese stamp culture.
One thing we found though, is that you really have to read the "terms" on some of the stamp rallys.  We were refused one finished quest because we were too old, which sucked butt! No foreigner leniency for us, it seemed. We should have known better, I guess!

The good part was that even though we didn't win prizes for most of the quests, it didn't cost us extra money to do, and it was fun to look for stamps! And I still have all the booklets to uh, scrapbook with..or something!
Anyway, it seems that stamp rallys are a big part of Japan, so next time you go bring a stamping book with you!

Have you ever participated in a stamp rally? I don't think they are all that common in the US, but maybe they should be, they are fun!

3 comments:

  1. I have no idea what you're talking about. But since it seems close to a scavenger hunt - I would LOVE this!

    (Plus, I love collecting stamps: of the passport variety :) )

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  2. HAHAH That's so FUN!!! And they're like... themes you like!!! :-D Sorry about them not letting you guys redeem all the prizes. I think Sak should've stamped them on his HAND/ARM when he didn't have paper. haha.

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  3. what a fascinating phenomenon. i totally don't get it, but it seems fun anyway!

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