JR News: Renewal of EKI STAMP designs!
EKI STAMP (駅のスタンプ eki-no-sutanpu) are stamps at train stations featuring motifs unique to the district around each particular station. These stamps are available at most stations, and have been lovingly collected by many customers as souvenirs of their railway trips over the years.
New stamp designs
New stamp designs for Tokyo, Ueno, Nippori, Shinjuki and Shimbashi. (Image credit: JR East)
From 8 July 2020, all 78 stations under the JR East Tokyo Branch’s jurisdiction will have their EKI STAMP designs renewed. The new designs are based on kamon (家紋 family crests), and combines a kanji character from the station’s name together with illustrations of places of interests around the station.
For example, the stamp for Tokyo (東京) Station features the first character “東”, and an image of the iconic Tokyo Tower. The stamp for Ueno (上野) Station features the second character “野”, and an image of a panda (famous inhabitant of Ueno Zoo). The stamp for Shinjuku (新宿) Station features the first character “新”, and images of the district’s modern skyscrapers.
In addition to the Japanese station name, English names of the stations will also be included on the stamps, so that foreign visitors can also enjoy the stamp-collecting activity.
EKI STAMP merchandise
New EKI STAMP merchandise. (Image credit: JR East)
To commemorate this renewal, merchandise featuring designs of the new stamps will go on sale. These include a tenugui (手ぬぐい Japanese towel), a teacup, an A4 file and a book for collecting the stamps.
The first two items went on sale at TRAINIART stores (Tokyo, Atré Kichijoji and Railway Museum branches) on 8 July, and these were the tenugui and teacup, which feature stamp designs of the Yamonote Line stations.
The remaining two items will launch on 21 July 2020, and will be sold at selected NewDays convenience stores in the Tokyo area. These are the A4 file, which features all 78 stamp designs across its front and back, and the Train Stamp Book, a must for avid collectors, as it features spaces for all 78 stamps. The book also has travel tips for each station.
Getting a stamp
EKI STAMPS can usually be found on a table near the exit of the main gantries, with an ink pad and postcard-sized pieces of paper to keep your stamps on. You are of course welcome to use the stamp on your own papers or books as well. For smaller stations, the stamps may be placed at the area after entering the gantry instead.
Although travelling to Japan remains restricted for most countries due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we know that many of you are eagerly looking forward to visiting Japan again, and we hope that this day will come soon.
The next time you head to Tokyo, keep a lookout for these new stamp designs!
Header image credit: JR East