When on a pilgrimage to temples or shrines, most pilgrims commemorate their visit by having a pilgrimage book inscribed at the site. This pilgrimage inscription is called go-shuin in Japanese.
How to start collecting go-shuin?
Collecting go-shuin is very popular among Japanese, even among younger Japanese in recent years, because it's OK to collect ones even if you are not on a particular pilgrimage. Such inscriptions are available at almost every shrine or temple, and you can start collecting them immediately after you get a pilgrimage book (below) which is sold at a window with a sign that says "朱印”.
Are they work of art?
Those inscriptions are written in beautiful Japanese calligraphy sealed with beautiful vermillion seals of the temple or shrine, which show the date of the visit on either side and the name of the object of worship in the center. Just taking a look at them will bring you lots of memories of your visit to places.
So, why not?