What is Hanko??: The Coolest Thing to Buy in Japan

Get your original personal seal “Hanko” in Japan!

Get your original personal seal “Hanko” in Japan!


In Japan, people do not use their signature on documents, but use their personal stamps called “Hanko” or “Inkan”. It’s a personal seal and almost every Japanese person has his/her own stamp with a name in Kanji letter.

Kanji letters (Chinese letters) are one of the most fascinating things about the country. Those who use alphabets in their country might envy Japanese for their cool looking Kanji letters and their Hanko stamp seemingly attracts foreigners, because it’s very unique and original.

Copyright: OiMax

Nowadays, Hanko stamps with foreign names in Kanji letter are sold quite commonly in Japan and there are even Hanko vending machines! Or many Hanko shops offer foreigners to create their own Hanko stamp as souvenirs. They will provide your name in alphabet letters into Japanese, pick right Kanji letters and make your very own Hanko stamp with various fonts and designs available.

Of course, if you do live in Japan, you should have one of them, but it’s becoming one of the most popular things to purchase among foreign visitors to Japan for memories. How about getting one for yourself with your original design or curving one by yourself?

Here are recommended activities of Hanko in Japan:

Tokyo: Enjoy handmade Hanko seal experience in Kamakura!

Osaka: Craft your own Japanese Stone Seal

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