Sunday, May 21, 2017

Chugoku Sanyo, San-in 中国地方山陽、山陰 - Via Inn Hiroshima ヴィアイン広島

Stayed 24.04.2015 (Fri)
Reserved via
- Single A room (with breakfast) = 7,800 yen
- Economy twin room (without breakfast) = 10,000 yen

Convenience & bonus. Via Inn Hiroshima beats other competitors hands down in terms of location - hotel is less than a minute walk away from Hiroshima JR Station. Via Inn is a relatively new brand under JR West group, following identical operating model like other popular budget business hotel chain such as Toyoko Inn and Super Hotel. Rooms are compact with limited walking space (economy twin room area is only 12 m2, similar to its single room) but enough for a good night rest. In fact, the decor of Via Inn's lobby is much more classy than what I have anticipated it to be (especially for a budget business hotel). Chic design and spacious environment make guests feel very comfortable upon arrival at the hotel lobby. Chose this hotel because its economy twin room was a bargain, especially for its strategic location. Its close proximity also allow half of the rooms to take in views of the train station, observe the commotion on the platforms and occasionally hear muffled sounds from trains - a bonus for train fans!

A peek at the train station at night from my room. I was really that close to the train station!

Complete with breakfast. There is no cafeteria in the hotel. Instead, Via Inn collaborates with two eateries situated right in front of the hotel, to provide breakfast for their guests. Guests are give the choice of western or Japanese style breakfast which is served in Cafe Di Espresso and Eki Zen (駅膳), respectively. Had the western breakfast set comprised of sandwiches and a drink.

What's nearby?

(1) Hiroshima Electric Railway (Streetcar) Station, located in front of Hiroshima JR Station South Exit.
- To Genbaku Dome (Atomic Bomb Dome) and Heiwa Kinen Koen (Peace Memorial Park), take Streetcar Route 1, 2 or 6 and alight at Genbaku Dome mae (原爆ドーム前).
Hiroden 広島電鉄:

(2) Bus stops, located in front of Hiroshima JR Station South Exit.
Do note that the bus stop to board airport limousine bus departing for Hiroshima Airport is located on the Shinkansen exit of Hiroshima JR Station. 
Airport Limousine Bus:

(3) Hiroshima Higashi Post Office 広島東郵便局; the building on the right upon exiting from the hotel.


Via Inn Hiroshima ヴィアイン広島
〒732-0822 広島県広島市南区松原町2-50
1 min walk from Hiroshima JR Station South Exit.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Chugoku Sanyo, San-in 中国地方山陽、山陰 - Hotel Flex ホテルフレックス, Cafe 43 (Kyarantotorowa キャランとトロワ)

Stayed 22.04.2015 - 23.04.2015 (2 nights)
Reserved thru'
- Single Room (with breakfast) = 5,500 yen (facing buildings; 11 m2)
- Twin Room (with breakfast) = 11,000 yen (facing river; 23 m2)

Atypical. It was definitely atypical for me to choose a hotel which is not near the train station especially when I am staying in a city area. Came upon Hotel Flex when I was searching for accommodation in Hiroshima and was immediately attracted to its minimalist concept. Had second thoughts when I found out about its location (from the train station, we have to cross two bridges with our luggage) but could not suppress the desire to spend at least a night in this designer hotel. Have planned to stay in Hiroshima for three nights; eventually decided to allocate the first two nights for Hotel Flex and the last night to stay put in Via Inn Hiroshima, which is located just beside the train station.

Designer hotel. Situated on the riverbank where Kyobashi river and Enko river diverges; rooms facing east can get an excellent view of the river. Hotel Flex employs similar operating philosophy like other budget business hotels; however what makes it stands out from its competitors is its affordable yet boutique quality. Utilisation of white and blue as the main colour scheme and wooden parquet flooring bring out this comfy ambience that makes guest feel at home during their stay. Despite the small floor area of their guest rooms (only 11 m2 for single room), excellent space optimization was able to create adequate walking area within the compact living space. In fact, I was already quite enraptured by the dimmed lights in the lobby upon arrival at the hotel in the evening. It is amazing to see how different elements complements one another - bare and rustic concrete walls, modern wooden furniture and sophisticated chandelier lights, all in one space. Everything in general was good, and Hotel Flex is definitely one place that I will fondly remember Hiroshima city for.

Designer cafe. Cafe 43 occupies the first floor of Hotel Flex and both the hotel and cafe share the same service counter. Semi alfresco style with subtle European flair, makes you want to enjoy a moment of luxury here, allowing time to sweep past slowly over a cup of coffee or relaxed meal. On our first night here, we decided to try their popular handmade pan galette (a pancake made with buckwheat flour). Ordered two different kinds to share - caramel nuts (キャラメルナッツ) and berries with creamy vanilla sauce. Each order comes in three mouth watering pancakes, all crispy golden brown on the outside and soft on the inside. Their version of pancake is thicker and dense in texture. For me, one order was too stomach filling; will recommend to share with other 2 person especially if you decide to have it for dessert after lunch/dinner. My stay with Hotel Flex also came with breakfast; each set came with a sandwich, yogurt, fruit and drink (coffee, tea and juices). There is a variety of sandwich fillings to choose from; had duck ham and raspberry, and chicken and basil on two separate mornings. Both were equally good. Breakfast is something I treasure a lot whenever I am on holidays; and such simple and well balanced breakfast in a conducive environment is the best way to start off the day right. 


Hotel Flex ホテルフレックス
〒730-0014 広島県広島市中区上幟町7-1
Approx 10 mins walk from Hiroshima JR Station.

Cafe 43 (Kyarantotorowa キャランとトロワ)
1st floor of Hotel Flex
Operating hours: 0700 - 1000 hrs; 1130 - 1500 hrs; 1700 - 2100 hrs

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Hokuriku + Wakayama 2017 北陸,和歌山の旅 - Day 9: Yuasa 湯浅, Kishi 貴志, Wakayama 和歌山

Day 9: 31.03.2017 (Fri)

Breakfast: Umitsubaki Hayama 海椿葉山

Tsubaki JR 椿駅 (0859 hrs) > Shirahama JR 白浜駅 (0909 hrs)
by local train. [200 yen]

Shirahama JR 白浜駅 (0919 hrs) > Yuasa JR 湯浅駅 (1015 hrs)
by Kuroshio 12. [2,110 yen]

Visited Yuasa Shouyu 湯浅醬油.

Visited Preservation District of Traditional Building 湯浅町湯浅伝統的建造物群保存地区.

Lunch: Ippuku いっぷく

Yuasa JR 湯浅駅 (1251 hrs) > Wakayama JR 和歌山駅 (1335 hrs)
by local train. [670 yen]

* Purchased 1 Day Wakayama Railway Pass. [780 yen]

Wakayama 和歌山駅 (1355 hrs) > Kishi 貴志駅 (1427 hrs)
by Ichigo Densha いちご電車, via Wakayama Railway Kishigawa line 和歌山電鉄貴志川線.

Visited Nitama にたま, at Kishi Station.

Kishi 貴志駅 (1533 hrs) > Wakayama 和歌山駅 (1606 hrs)
by Tama Densha たま電車, via Wakayama Railway Kishigawa line 和歌山電鉄貴志川線.

Wakayama Ekimae 和歌山駅前 > Koen Mae 公園前
by bus. [230 yen]

Visited Wakayama Castle 和歌山城. *Did not enter the castle.

Dinner: Ramen Marui Junibancho マルイ十二番丁店

Koen Mae 公園前 > Wakayama Ekimae 和歌山駅前
by bus. [230 yen]

Checked in: Toyoko Inn JR Wakayama Eki Higashi Guchi 東横インJR和歌山駅東口

- End of Day 9 -

Day 10: 01.04.2017 (Sat)

Breakfast: Toyoko Inn JR Wakayama Eki Higashi Guchi 東横インJR和歌山駅東口

Wakayama JR 和歌山駅 (0749 hrs) > Hineno JR 日根野駅 (0812 hrs)
by Kishuji Rapid Service.

Hineno JR 日根野駅 (0824 hrs) > Kansai Airport 関西空港 (0834 hrs)
by JR Kansai Airport Rapid Service. [890 yen]

KIX T1 (1055 hrs) > SIN T3 (1640 hrs)
by SQ619.

- End of Hokuriku + Wakayama 2017 trip -

Hokuriku + Wakayama 2017 北陸,和歌山の旅 - Day 8: Shirahama 白浜, Tsubaki Onsen 椿温泉

Day 8: 30.03.2017 (Thu)

Breakfast: Super Hotel Osaka Tennouji スーパホテル大阪天王寺

Tennouji JR 天王寺駅 (0725 hrs) > Wakayama JR 和歌山駅 (0826 hrs)
by Kishuji Rapid Service.

* Safe kept luggage in Toyoko Inn JR Wakayama Eki Higashi Guchi (Accommodation on Day 9) to travel light to Shirahama.

Shirahama JR Station.
Wakayama JR 和歌山駅 (0851 hrs) > Shirahama JR 白浜駅 (1009 hrs)
by Kuroshio 1. [3,340 yen]

* Purchased 1 Day Shirahama Onsen Pass. [1,100 yen]

Shirahama Ekimae 白浜駅前 (1025 hrs) > Adventure World アドベンチャーワールド (1033 hrs)
by Meiko Bus.

Visited Adventure World アドベンチャーワールド. [4,100 yen]

Adventure World アドベンチャーワールド (1416 hrs) > Sandanbeki 三段壁 (1428 hrs)
by Meiko Bus.

Visited Sandanbeki 三段壁. [1,100 yen]

Sandanbeki 三段壁 (1544 hrs) > Senjojiki 千畳敷 (1545 hrs)
by Meiko Bus.

Visited Senjojiki 千畳敷.

Senjojiki 千畳敷 (1628 hrs) > Rinkai 臨海 (1640 hrs)
by Meiko Bus.

Visited Engetsuto Island 円月島.

Shirahama Bus Center 白浜バスセンター (1724 hrs) > Shirahama Ekimae 白浜駅前 (1737 hrs)
by Meiko Bus.

Shirahama JR 白浜駅 (1806 hrs) > Tsubaki JR 椿駅 (1815 hrs)
by local train. [200 yen]

Checked in: Umitsubaki Hayama 海椿葉山

Dinner: Umitsubaki Hayama 海椿葉山

- End of Day 8 -

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Hokuriku + Wakayama 2017 北陸,和歌山の旅 - Day 7: Katsuyama 勝山, Eiheiji 永平寺

Day 7: 29.03.2017 (Wed) 

Breakfast: Hotel Econo Fukui Ekimae ホテルエコノ福井駅前

Fukui 福井駅 (0828 hrs) > Katsuyama 勝山駅 (0931 hrs)
by Echizen Tetsudo えちぜん鉄道, via Katsuyama Eiheiji line 勝山永平寺線.

Katsuyama 勝山駅 (0933 hrs) > Kyoryu Hakubutsukan 福井県立恐竜博物館 (0947 hrs)
by bus. [300 yen]

Visited Kyoryu Hakubutsukan 福井県立恐竜博物館. [720 yen 620 yen, discounted rate with Hokuriku Arch Pass]

Kyoryu Hakubutsukan 福井県立恐竜博物館 (1233 hrs) > Katsuyama 勝山駅 (1245 hrs)
by bus. [300 yen]

Katsuyama 勝山駅 (1249 hrs) > Eiheiji Guchi 永平寺口 (1320 hrs)
by Echizen Tetsudo えちぜん鉄道, via Katsuyama Eiheiji line 勝山永平寺線.

Eiheiji Guchi 永平寺口 (1325 hrs) > Eiheiji 永平寺 (1339 hrs)
Keifuku bus. [410 yen]

Lunch: Teraguchi てらぐち

Visited Eiheiji 永平寺. [500 yen]

Eiheiji (1620 hrs) 永平寺 > Fukui Ekimae 福井駅前 (1649 hrs)
by Express Bus Eiheiji Liner. [720 yen]

Visited Asuwagawa 足羽川.

Dinner: Yo-roppaken Souhonten ヨーロッパ軒総本店

Fukui JR 福井駅 (1841 hrs) > Shin Osaka JR 新大阪駅 (2034 hrs)
by Thunderbird 42.

Shin Osaka JR 新大阪駅 (2100 hrs) > Tennouji JR 天王寺駅 (2119 hrs)
by Haruka 53.

Checked in: Super Hotel Osaka Tennouji スーパーホテル大阪・天王寺

- End of Day 7 -

Monday, May 8, 2017

Hokuriku + Wakayama 2017 北陸,和歌山の旅 - Day 6: Tojinbo 東尋坊, Mikuni Minato 三国湊

Day 6: 28.03.2017 (Tue)

Visited Kosouyu 古総湯.
Breakfast: Kai Kaga 界加賀

Yamashiro Onsen 山代温泉 (0935 hrs) > Kaga Onsen JR 加賀温泉駅前 (0951 hrs)
by bus. [250 yen]

Kaga Onsen JR 加賀温泉駅 (1013 hrs) > Fukui JR 福井駅 (1035 hrs)
by Shirasagi 6.

Checked in: Hotel Econo Fukui Ekimae ホテルエコノ福井駅前

* Purchased Echizen Tetsudo 2 Day Pass. [1,500 yen, discounted rate with Hokuriku Arch Pass]

Fukui 福井駅 (1109 hrs) > Mikuniminato 三国港駅 (1158 hrs)
by Echizen Tetsudo えちぜん鉄道, via Mikuni Awara line 三国芦原線.
Lunch: Tajima 田島
Mikuni Minato 三国港 (1342 hrs) > Tojinbo 東尋坊 (1354 hrs)
by Keifuku bus. [190 yen]

Visited Tojinbo 東尋坊.
Tojinbo 東尋坊 (1528 hrs) > Mikuni Ekimae 三国駅前 (1537 hrs)
by Keifuku bus. [270 yen]

Break: Mikuni Minato Za 三国湊座

Visited Old Morita Bank Main Office 旧森田銀行本店.

Mikuni 三国駅 (1741 hrs) > Fukui 福井駅 (1831 hrs)
by Echizen Tetsudo えちぜん鉄道, via Mikuni Awara line 三国芦原線.

Dinner: Akiyoshi Yakitori 秋吉やきとり

- End of Day 6 -

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Chugoku Sanyo, San-in 中国地方山陽、山陰 - Toyoko Inn Okayama Eki Nishi Guchi Hiroba 東横イン岡山駅西口広場

Stayed 16.04.2015 - 18.04.2015 (3 nights)
Reserved thru'
- Single Room = 6,264 yen/night
- Twin Room = 9,504 yen/night

Left: Look out for the tall building which is Toyoko Inn Okayama Eki Nishi Guchi Hiroba; Right: Bus terminal on west exit.
My maiden stay! I have to say that this is a very backdated entry (I have previously wrote about my Toyoko Inn experience in Morioka and Hirosaki), but Okayama was where I stayed in a Toyoko Inn for the very first time. The pleasant experience in this established budget business hotel chain in Japan greatly influenced my decision during accommodation selection for future trips. Since then, Toyoko Inn has almost become a pit stop on every holiday in Japan and will continue to be so. There are many features I like about Toyoko Inn; high level of consistency exemplified in all their hotels I have stayed so far, affordable and competitive pricing, strategic locations near essential transport infrastructure, well kept rooms equipped with basic amenities and even daily breakfast are taken care of here, making my stay in a foreign country comfortable and at ease.

Do note that there are a total of three Toyoko Inn branches all within walking distance from Okayama JR Station. Okayama Eki Nishi Guchi Migi and Okayama Eki Nishi Guchi Hiroba (which I stayed in) are both located on the west exit; while Okayama Eki Higashi Guchi is situated on the east exit. Stayed in Okayama for three consecutive days and everything was good; service, room, amenities and meal (always looking forward to see onigiri on their menu).

What's nearby?

(1) Okayama JR Station West Exit Bus Terminal 
If you are heading for Okayama Airport, board Okaden Airport Limousine Bus from Platform 21. Bus journey takes about 30 mins; fare = 760 yen
Airport Limousine Bus:
(2) Okayama Kotobuki Post Office 岡山寿郵便局, 1st floor of Lit City (リットシティ), a stone throw away from hotel. Had to pay this place a visit to get my favourite Posta Collect postcards exclusive to Okayama Prefecture. 
Operating hours: 0900 - 1700 hrs on weekdays
Okayama Prefecture's Posta Collect postcards:

Momotaro, a hero from a folk tale originated from Okayama Prefecture. This is Okayama's version from the first series of Posta Collect debuted in 2009.

Toyoko Inn Okayama Eki Nishi Guchi Hiroba 東横イン岡山駅西口広場
〒700-0024  岡山県岡山市北区駅元町22-10
2 mins walk from West Exit of Okayama JR Statiom

Monday, May 1, 2017

Chugoku Sanyo, San-in 中国地方山陽、山陰 - Kurashiki JR Station 倉敷駅

Kurashiki JR Station, on Sanyo main line served by both local and limited express trains. From Okayama, it takes about 18 mins to travel by local train to Kurashiki, which is most well known for its Bikan Historical Quarter (倉敷美観地区).

Top right: South Exit; Bottom right: North Exit.
Do take note that Shin Kurashiki and Kurashiki are two different train stations. Shin Kurashiki JR Station, which was formerly called Tamashima, is served by both Sanyo Shinkansen and Sanyo main line, and is two stops away from Kurashiki JR Station on Sanyo main line. Alight at Shin Kurashiki JR Station for places of interest in Tamashima area such as Entsuji Temple (円通寺) and Nakagai-cho (仲買町). Visitors making their way to Bikan Historical Quarter should alight at Kurashiki JR Station.


What's nearby?

(1) Ario Shopping Mall and Mitsui Outlet Park Kurashiki, about 1 - 3 mins walk from the North Exit of train station. 
Decided to see what the West Exit has to offer after returning to the train station since it was still early. There are two shopping malls; Ario is connected to Kurashiki Station by an overhead pedestrian bridge and houses a good variety of tenants such as ABC Mart, Beams, LOFT, Tower Records, etc. 
I was once a fan of factory outlet  because of the occasional attractive bargains for off-season items. On my maiden trip to Japan in 2011, I went to both Gotemba Premium Outlets and Mitsui Outlet Park Makuhari and I was extremely exhausted by my ambitious shopping itinerary (and I made a mental note not to do it again). Dropped by Mitsui Outlet Park Kurashiki since it was just in the vicinity. Similar concept like other conventional outlet parks where familiar names such as Gap, Beams, Nike, Adidas. Puma, etc are found here. However, Kurashiki's version lacks luxury brands tenants (like Coach, Agnes b, Burberry, Kate Spade, etc) which I have come across and may make here a less attractive place for shoppers to visit.
- Ario Kurashiki アリオ倉敷:
- Mitsui Outlet Park Kurashiki 三井アウトレットパーク 倉敷:

(2) Kurashiki Ekimae Tourist Information Office 倉敷駅前観光案内所
The tourist information office is located on the second floor of Kurashiki City Plaza West Building (倉敷市役所), which come into sight on the right upon exit from the South Exit.

(3) Sun Station Terrace Kurashiki さんすて倉敷, a small scale shopping mall housed within the train station.

Entrance to Bikan Historical Quarter.
(4) Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter 倉敷美観地区, about 10 mins walk from the South Exit of train station.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Chugoku Sanyo, San-in 中国地方山陽、山陰 - Sakaiminato JR Station 境港駅, Kitaro Ressha 鬼太郎列車

Sakaiminato JR Station, the terminus of Sakai line. Apart from being affectionately known as the hometown of Mizuki Shigeru, Sakaiminato is also one of Japan's major fishing bases with the highest harvest of benizuwai crab (a type of snowcrab) and maguro. In fact, transport infrastructure in this small city is rather extensive; accommodates a domestic airport (Yonago Kitaro Airport) where daily flights to and fro Tokyo and occasional flights to and fro Seoul and Hong Kong are in operation, and a harbour where ships depart for nearby Oki Islands and it is also a port of call for DBS Cruise Ferry which sails between Sakaiminato, Donghae in Korea and Vladivostok in Russia.
- Yonago Kitaro Airport:
- DBS Cruise Ferry:

Kitaro Station. Similar to other train stations along Sakai line, Sakaiminato JR Station is nicknamed Kitaro Station (鬼太郎駅). You will find yourself entering the world of yokai created by Mizuki Shigeru as soon as you alight from the train. Spot the sticker of Nekomusume, who is on the verge of transforming into a yokai with cat like features, as you walk along the train platform; take a rest on wooden benches in the waiting area with the company of Kitaro (on the back rest); be amused by the bronze statues of Kitaro and Nezumi Otoko overlooking a caricature version of Shigeru Muzuki, who is cracking his brains on a yet another exciting storyline, erected just outside the train station. There are just too many interesting features to look out for!


Kitaro Ressha

On board Medama Oyaji (目玉おやじ).

Return journey with Sunakake Babaa (砂かけばばあ) and Konaki jijii (こなきじじい).

Return journey with Sunakake Babaa (砂かけばばあ) and Konaki jijii (こなきじじい).
Yokai expedition is definitely not complete without a ride on any of the six Kitaro Ressha (鬼太郎列車) which operates along the 17.9 km long Sakai line, shuffling between Yonago and Sakaiminato. Kitaro Ressha (鬼太郎列車) series comprises of six different themed train carriages - Kitaro (鬼太郎), Nekomusume (ねこ娘), Nezumi Otoko (ねずみ男), Medama Oyaji (目玉おやじ), Sunakake Babaa (砂かけばばあ) and Konaki jijii (こなきじじい) and the theme is thoroughly illustrated in each train. Boarded the train featuring Medama Oyaji (the father of Kitaro) during the journey from Yonago to Sakaiminato. Was amused by Medama Oyaji, who was depicted inside out the train in numerous poses, including the familiar portrayal of him sitting in a bowl enjoying his hot water bath and popping out from the hair of Kitaro. On the way back to Yonago, we rode on the train made up of two carriages featuring both Sunakake Babaa and Konaki jijiji. Pay attention to the announcement made by Kitaro and Nekomusume during the train journey and be entertained by the pictures of the characters in different expressions on the seat cushions and ceiling.

Based on the latest train schedule (2017), there are 22 and 17 round trips daily between Yonago and Sakaiminato on weekdays and weekends respectively. As Kitaro Ressha is in operation 17 and 16 times on weekdays and weekends respectively, the probability of riding on one of them is pretty high.
Sakai line train schedule (shaded train numbers indicate Kitaro Ressha in service):


What's nearby?

Medama Oyaji directing you to Minatosakai Koryukan!
(1) Minatosakai Koryukan みなとさかい交流館
A gigantic painting (7.5 m by 20.25 m) of Kitaro and his friends spread over the wall on the outside of this four storey tall building, comes into sight immediately when passengers alight from the train. Minatosakai Koryukan houses a harbour for ships departing for Oki Islands, an archipelago in the Sea of Japan and was designated as a UNESCO Global Geopark for its rich natural heritage.

Stamp Rally! Before you leave the train station to embark on your Yokai expedition, I would encourage all to visit the tourist information center located on the first floor to purchase a Yokai Guide Book (妖怪ガイドブック). This guide book was first introduced in 1995 and contains detailed account (only in Japanese) of all 153 bronze statues of Yokai and characters of Gegege no Kitaro erected along Mizuki Shigeru Road. With this book, visitors can participate in Yokai Stamp Rally (妖怪スタンプラリー) to collect inked stamps from counters/stalls set up along the same road. The current edition of Yokai Guide Book (18th edition) requires a total of 37 inked stamps to accomplish the stamp rally. Not too difficult, as the entire exercise is also facilitated (and made easy) by a map which clearly indicated the location of all the inked stamp counters (sometimes it can be placed inside a shop especially during rainy days). For those who are able to meet the ultimate objective, you will be awarded with a certificate of completion, which comes with a unique serial number, by the staff of tourist information center.

Certificate of completion and Yokai Guide Book.
My hard earned certificate! Bought my book from the tourist information center and began my stamp rally as I strolled leisurely from the train station to Mizuki Shigeru Museum. The book was about 90% completed by the time I reached Mizuki Shigeru Museum. Unfortunately, the forgetful me misplaced the book at a stamp counter outside the museum and by the time I realised it was lost and came back to look for it, the book was nowhere to be found. Almost had to give the stamp rally a miss until I spotted the sale of the guide book at Gegege no Yokai Rakuen (ゲゲゲの妖怪楽園). Without further ado, I bought the book and re-started the entire activity on the way back to the train station. However, the whole process was made difficult by bad weather. Protected my book from the heavy rain with my down jacket and braved the strong wind to visit every inked stamp counter again. Returned to the tourist information center drenched, but was joyous to hand over my completed book to staff and receive my reward. Managed to overcome the obstacles and make up for my own carelessness to become the 329,241st person to complete this stamp rally! A milestone was reached on 10 Oct 2016: a total of 370,000 people had successfully accomplished the mission since it was introduced in 1995.

Left: Inked stamp from Mizuki Shigeru Museum; Right: Inked stamp for completion of Stamp Rally.
Yokai Stamp Rally:


Commemorative stamp: