My, what a fancy stamp!
Goshuin number 8★ is from the 戸隠神社奥社(Togakushi Jinjya Okusha). There are actually three shrines on Togakushi — the lower, middle and upper. These stamps are from the upper shrine (奥社). I have only been to the upper shrine, and I’ve heard that it provides the easiest access. There is plenty of parking, though you have to pay ￥600 for a spot anywhere close to the shrine entrance.
The walk up to this shrine is about two kilometers and passes through a gorgeous forest of giant trees. This walk is so beautiful I recommend it to everyone who will listen, even if I can’t help but think of Attack on Titan when I walk among the towering trees!
The day I got this stamp was actually Japan Culture Day, a national holiday. There was no school, and plenty of people were out enjoying the good weather. I imagine that this is the reason that this stamp covered two pages and cost more (￥700) than normal stamps (￥300).
★The real reason this stamp was two pages is because it is two different stamps (duh…). One is for the Upper Shrine and one is for the Kuzuryusha which is right next to it. So while it used to be number 8, I’ve since updated it to say 8-9.
When my friend and I finally arrived at the shrine, I paid for my stamp and received a number before we headed up to pray at the shrine. As we stood in line, we mentally rehearsed what to do when it was our turn. This is the order I follow: money, bow, bow, clap, clap, pray, bow, leave. When it was time for us to go forward, we did this order and heard a Japanese person behind us say, 「すごい」 (impressive)! We felt pretty good about ourselves haha.
Date received: November 3rd, 2017