This year, until February 27, the train line Japan Rail East is holding its annual stamp rally. The theme is Dragon Ball and just like the anime, there are prizes for those who collect the Dragon Balls—in this case the stamps. Tourists may be coming to Tokyo for sightseeing but they are definitely going to use the train. Why not see if you can step outside the station and collect the Dragon Ball stamps at 7, 30, or even all 65 JR East stations and bring home a prize?
Called The Dragon Ball Stamp Rally, this event has passengers stop at certain stations on the JR Line and collect a stamp outside the station using a stamp booklet from any of the stations (only one per individual is accepted, so be careful not to lose it). Each station has a different Dragon Ball character representing it. For example, Higashi Nakano Station is Son Goku, Shibuya Station is Super Saiyan Gohan, Tokyo Station is Super Saiyan Goku, Otsuka Station is Piccolo, and many more (You can find all of the character’s stations here). In the television anime it is based on, these characters race across the world to collect the Dragon Balls, which, when all collected, summon a dragon that will grant them one wish. This year, JR took inspiration from that concept to make a stamp rally that allows users to travel around Tokyo and receive a little reward for doing it.
This is how it is done:
1) Get a stamp booklet from any of the 65 JR stations.
2) Using the acquired stamp booklet, you may collect the character stamps from any of the 65 Japan Rail East stations.
3) Each character’s station has different area titles based on the TV seasons they appeared in (1. Dragon Ball; 2. Dragon Ball Z; 3. Dragon Ball GT; and 4. Dragon Ball Super). The stations even have Dragon Ball artwork outside them. Just walk outside of the station and look for any of the characters stamps.
Yajirobe at Shinjuku Station4) Then, once you have collected the requisite amount of stamps, you may send them to the nearest Goal Shop. They are usually inside a café or bookstore like Beck’s Coffee Shop, Kusuri, Good Times, and Café Denmark. There are 14 Goal Shops located in Akihabara, Shinjuku, Ebisu and more.
The 14 Goal Shops are all located here:
- Becks Coffee Shop (Akihabara Station Electric Town Entrance Shop, Ikebukuro West Exit Shop, Matsudo Shop, Toride Shop)
- Little Mermaid (Komagome Station)
- Cafe Denmark (Mejiro)
- Book Express (ecute Ueno, ecute Shinagawa South, Osaki)
- Bookshelf NEWoMan Shinjuku
- Book Express/Kusuri Station (pharmacy) (Tokyo Station GRANSTA)
- Kusuri Station (pharmacy) Akabane
- Good Times Shinjuku East Exit Shop
- Tokamachi healthy factory Ebisu Shop
Akihabara Station Electric Town Gate (about a 3 minute walk) Under the overhead structure between Akihabara Station Okachimachi Station Next to Chabara Aki-oka Marche.
Just like the anime, each Dragon Ball has a different set of stars on it. Therefore each Goal Shop will distribute different types of stickers from one to seven.
5) At these shops, you can exchange your stamp card for a prize. A card with 7 station stamps can get you Dragon Ball Carddass cards and a shopping certificate at one of the Goal Shops. 30 station stamps can get you a commemorative pin badge. 65 station stamps can get you a pin badge set.
While this provides a wonderful experience to fans of the series, travellers too can join in an otaku excursion that one cannot get anywhere else. Collecting stamps from train stations has been a widespread hobby across Japan since the trains were created. Now you can collect a stamp with your favorite Dragon Ball character on it. While the stamp may be small, collecting them will give you an excellent excuse to see the sights and wonders of every different train station Tokyo has to offer.
Your trip to Tokyo may include walking through modern buildings, eating new foods, and passing by many kinds train stations. So for every train ride you take, you may find yourself stopping at a different Dragon Ball character. From Goku to Yajirobe to Majunior, the JR East Stamp Rally allows you to see them all.
Official Site (Japanese Only)