6 ways to commemorate your trip to Japan - Tricks I wish I'd knew before

The First time I visited Japan, I thought I was completely prepared to make the most of my trip and to commemorate every single minute in this amazing country! I succeeded in this first bit of this challenge, but I feel like I failed the second. In this article I will tell you the best ways to remember your trip to Japan for a lifetime, some of which I wished I’d known before my first trip, but will definitely start using the second time I will pay this amazing country a visit!
1.       Take lots of pictures and make yourself a photo book when you get home
I’ll start with probably the most famous method of all, but to me, this is still the way to remember my vacations. I love flipping through the pages of a photo book consisting of the most carefully chosen pictures of the trip. It helps you organize the most important features of your trip and gives you a big smile every time you open this great book. (For me, the best pictures are sometimes also the weirdest ones. A picture of me and my friend goofing around and of course a picture of the first every Japanese toilet I sat on!... These are the things you want to remember!)
2.       Keep a journal of your whereabouts and thoughts and write an entry every single night
I started this technique a few years ago and the type of trip changes the way I write my journal entries. Sometimes I’d like to only write the quirky and unusual stuff that has happened to me on a trip, like losing a doorknob of a bathroom door in my hotel room and the need to try to open it with a hairpin (Which actually worked!). With this method I only write down the things I think I might forget over time, but will help to share a great story when remembering! 
The second technique is writing a complete journal/blog entry. I use this technique for the more important and longer trips I tend to make. This way the feeling of the trip isn’t going to be lost over time and it is a great way to read your thoughts on paper while watching Kiyomizudera for the first time for example.
3.       Combine point one and two by making yourself a book of your trip including blogposts/journal entries and included even pictures!
I myself struggle with the idea of only creating a blog post online and leave it on the internet until the website decides that it is time for you to delete the blog post, because it has been years since anyone viewed your blog. I found it a pity, all my hard work would mean nothing anymore once I would return home. 
Luckily I found an amazing website which turns blog entries into your own printed book version. I recommend this site to anyone. The site is called: www.traveldiariesapp.com
I have ordered two books so far and the quality is amazing. The next trip I will make to Japan, will once more be remembered while standing on my own bookshelf!
Books I made myself about my trip to Japan

4.       Go GoShuin!
One of the things I regret not knowing earlier is the amazing memorabilia called GoShuin. If you visit a lot of temples and shrines in Japan, this is a perfect way to remember your visit to Japan. 
Goshuin are stamps, unique to each temple and shrine and you collect them in a special Goshuin book called Shuincho. These books are sold at shrines and temples giving out the Goshuin stamp so I recommend looking for one of these books. Books cost around 1000 yen and each Goshuin stamp costs around 300 yen. 
Yes, it is an expensive way to remember your trip to Japan, but trust me, this book, even if it has only 10 stamps inside, is a priceless and unique souvenir of your trip to Japan!
Source: http://www.kyotoursjapan.com

5.       Ready! Set! STAMP!

There is however a more cheap way to remember your trip to Japan which also includes stamps. 

I recommend you to buy a small booklet, A5 or A6 will do,  before you leave for Japan. Japanese love ink stamps and a lot of famous places, such as temples, museums and Japan Railway train stations have their own unique stamp. (JR East Railway around Tokyo has 77 unique stamps for each station!). And these stamps are completely free. Just look for the stamp pads around the entrance or exits of the stations/ famous sights.
Source: Japangasm.worpress.com

6.       Take a video camera and make yourself a vlog or shoot little pieces of footage and make yourself a x-minute video summarizing your trip!
Lastly, I have one more tip. I never found myself to be a vlog kind-of-person. I never imagined myself speaking to other people via a video explaining them about the inns and outs of a place or having a one sided conversation to a camera as if it were my best friend.
HOWEVER, Videos are a great way to keep the memory alive. Whenever an image is moving, you will recall a memory faster than looking at a still image. So, if you are a vlog person I recommend doing this as well.
For people like me, I found the perfect loophole. During my stay in Japan I shot small videos of interesting sights (usually no more than a few seconds) or recorded events which I thought were just to quirky to stay unnoticed. 
After returning home I did some video editing (Some….? Make that a few weeks! Making art takes time…) and made myself a 10 minute video of all the highlights in Japan with some emotional music on the background. I love watching this video whenever I am down to cheer me up and it is the perfect way to show your friends and family in a quick and easy way what you have been up to…
I hope you will be inspired by this article and will have more options to commemorate your next trip than I did the first time I visited…  I hope you make sure your next trip to Japan is one to remember a lifetime!
 Disclaimer: I have no financial interest in the previous mentioned external website. I share this solely based on my experience, which I’d like to share!

Miki P