When on pilgrimage, it is customary to collect stamps (goshu-in) from each of the sites in a stamp book (nōkyō-chō). Some temples only give stamps, while at others, a temple priest will hand-draw the temple's signature in the pilgrim's book -- these handwritten inscriptions are often very beautiful. When the temple priest is away, the pilgrim must settle for the stamp, but the stamps too are quite artistic. It costs between five hundred to one thousand yen to receive the temple stamp and brush -written inscription.
Big Buddha of Kamakura -- Amida Nyorai Giant bronze statue of Amida Buddha, cast in 1252, and roughly 11.3 meters in height (without pedestal). Above three photos by Mark Schumacher. For more photos, click here.
Hase-dera Temple 長谷寺. Sixteenth-century seated image of Amida said to ward off evil (Yakuyoke Amida 厄除阿弥陀). Nearly seven meters in height. Photo by Mark Schumacher