Most people like to collect a few souvenirs on holiday, and in Japan there’s an almost bewildering selection of things to buy everywhere you go. But don’t overlook the souvenir you’ll be given every place you go: the humble admission ticket.
Japan doesn’t seem to do the humble variety of admission ticket, though. Not to its major tourist attractions, at least; there are, of course, a good many places which have far more mundane tickets, but a lot of places you go will give you little works of art when you hand over your fee.
They’re worth holding on to long after you’ve given away all the chopsticks, wrapped mobile phone danglies up as Christmas presents, and put that yukata in the bottom drawer. And rather than talk about why, I’m going to show you.
For places with a lower footfall, a more sedate entry ticket can usually be expected, such as this, from Kyōto’s Manga Museum:
The ticket for Kinkakuji, Kyōto, doubles as a fortune charm which you can place at your shrine at home, if you have one:
Finally, I always like to keep bus and train tickets. Mostly because I’m a bit of a transport geek.
This ticket for the bullet train has been paid for with a Japan Rail Pass, which is what the long red stamp says. The tiny little wonky red stamp is proof that the on-train inspector has checked this ticket.
As you can also see, there’s little to worry about with buying a Japanese train ticket. In the above case this is a reserved ticket, meaning I’ve requested and been allocated a specific seat on this train. The date and time of the train, as well as the location of my seat, are clearly printed. No fretting necessary.
This is a day bus pass for Kyōto. The date it’s valid for is printed on the rear of the pass. The pink ring on the front of the pass shows you the limits beyond which the pass isn’t valid, and a map from the bus station will have this information in English. The odds that you’ll want to go beyond this ring by bus are slim.