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Amazing Japanese Postboxes


Post box, Japanese post boxes, Nara, visit Nara,

Japan is a country that doesn’t do ordinary and nothing personifies this more than Kawaii culture. In a land of anime, dedicated product characters, ubiquitous city mascots, Lolita fashion, J-pop and cosplay, nothing is immune from receiving the cutesy treatment.


And Japanese postboxes are no exception. Many of them are simply amazing.


Our eye was initially caught by a truly breathtaking Game Boy themed postbox posted to Twitter (now X) by user @7bXNGnHc1EgqvfS, who claims he stumbled across it while searching for somewhere to fish!


Post box, Japanese post boxes, Nara, visit Nara, Gameboy

7bXNGnHc1EgqvfS Game Boy, Kagawa



We searched for more details online but unfortunately came up blank. However, what we did discover was that this postbox is not just a quirky anomaly in the mountains of Kagawa Prefecture, but one in a long line of memorial postboxes scattered the length of breadth of the country.


demon slayer, Post box, Japanese post boxes, Nara, visit Nara,

yukiyama0398 Toshima. Tokyo



Post box, Japanese post boxes, Nara, visit Nara, todai-ji temple

Todai-ji Temple roof, JR Nara Station



We immediately jumped on Instagram to see what we could find and were not disappointed. We reached out to as many users as possible and asked for permission to use their pictures. We were overwhelmed by the response and their generosity with many commenting how excited they were at being able to help share Japanese culture with the rest of the world via



Post box, Japanese post boxes, Nara, visit Nara, okayama

yukoo03 Momotaro, Okayama Station


Post box, Japanese post boxes, Nara, visit Nara, uji

Uji Station, Kyoto



The fascinating history behind these creative postboxes is detailed below, but for now, please enjoy the pictures we have to offer you courtesy of Japanese Instagram users. Please show your appreciation to them by following and liking their posts. All handles are provided below each picture.



Post box, Japanese post boxes, Nara, visit Nara, okinawa

zenq1124 Okinawa



Post box, Japanese post boxes, Nara, visit Nara, hyogo

shurikeiko1 Hyogo Park of the Oriental White Stork, Toyooka, Japan



Amazingly enough, Japan also holds the current Guinness World Record for the deepest underwater postbox at a depth of 10 meters off the coast of Susami, Wakayama Prefecture. Some 1,000 to 1,500 items of mail are here annually.



Post box, Japanese post boxes, Nara, visit Nara,

underwater mailbox www.asoview.com


Post box, Japanese post boxes, Nara, visit Nara, saitama

ura_wa_tama Saitama Prefectural Office



Japan built its first artistic “kinen post” or memorial postbox, a stone mailbox topped with a statue of a trumpet playing cherub, outside the Tokyo Chuo Post Office to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Japan Postal Service joining the Universal Postal Union in 1952.



Post box, Japanese post boxes, Nara, visit Nara, toyama, hattori

yoshiakime Ninja Hattori- kun, Shiokaze street, Toyama



Post box, Japanese post boxes, Nara, visit Nara, tokyo station

Red Brick, Tokyo Station Mailbox



The second monument mailbox, commemorating the promulgation of the peace treaty that ended World War 2, was built in Hiroshima later that same year.



Post box, Japanese post boxes, Nara, visit Nara,

tigger_papa88 Hiroshima Peace Park



Post box, Japanese post boxes, Nara, visit Nara, aomori

Apple Mailbox, Hirosaki City Aomori



A third one marking the construction of a new train station in Kanazawa came in 1954, and the fourth monument postbox (commemorating the 100th anniversary of the postal services joining the Universal Postal Union) didn’t come until 1977.



Post box, Japanese post boxes, Nara, visit Nara, tottori

uc__ci Kitaro, Sakaiminato, Tottori Prefecture



Post box, Japanese post boxes, Nara, visit Nara, ueno zoo

Panda Mailbox, Uneno Zoo


The first 4 monument postboxes were all made to be permanent or long lasting facilities and they were all rectangular mailboxes with a sculpture on top.



Post box, Japanese post boxes, Nara, visit Nara, shiga

trntrnt Shiga



Post box, Japanese post boxes, Nara, visit Nara, kumamoto

Castle Mailbox, Kumamoto



In 1985 a time capsule shaped mailbox was unveiled at the Tsukuba Banpaku Science Museum in Ibaraki Prefecture commemorating the sealing of a time capsule at the museum. In a departure from previous monument postboxes, the time capsule postbox was only in place for 6 months and it was designed to make passersby want to use it because it was fun and unusual.



Post box, Japanese post boxes, Nara, visit Nara, saitama

tigermaskthe2 Omiya Station, Saitama




Post box, Japanese post boxes, Nara, visit Nara, shimane

saechin.ciel | Matsue city, Shimane



This idea caught on and more monument postboxes based on this concept popped up across the nation. Some of these new postboxes continued the original idea of marking an important anniversary, some were used to mark unique locations (such as the 0km point of the Yamanote Line at Tokyo Station) or to reflect and convey the character, history or a symbol of their municipality.



Post box, Japanese post boxes, Nara, visit Nara, lighthouse, chiba

the_pan0205 Inubosaki Lighthouse, Chiba



Post box, Japanese post boxes, Nara, visit Nara, kagawa

ry.yandy Takamatsu, Kagawa



Many cities and towns went all out and designed truly unique postboxes that became mini-tourist attractions in an of themselves.



Post box, Japanese post boxes, Nara, visit Nara, toshima

tateitoyokoito Komagome Station, Toshima, Tokyo,




Post box, Japanese post boxes, Nara, visit Nara, Mt fuji

route_17_from_ina Fujiya Hotel



Instances of monument mailboxes being created to promote local areas has increased in recent years. In 2014 Tokyo’s Toshima Ward installed a yellow owl-shaped postbox outside the Ikebukuro Eki-mae Post Office as part of its urban development and tourism promotion efforts (Toshima Ward’s mascot is an owl because the ward’s shape looks like an owl in flight.)



Post box, Japanese post boxes, Nara, visit Nara, ikebukuro

love_ytj Ikebukuro Station Post Office



Post box, Japanese post boxes, Nara, visit Nara, kumano hongu,

pponzu _Yatagarasu Kumano Hongu Shrine, Wakayama



In April of 2016, the town of Tobe in Ehime Prefecture unveiled 4 monument postboxes topped with Tobe-yaki china pottery.



Post box, Japanese post boxes, Nara, visit Nara, ehime

Tobe Ehime, Tobe Tourism



This effort was to promote the town of Tobe and its signature pottery to domestic travelers ahead of a big political conference held there the following year.



Post box, Japanese post boxes, Nara, visit Nara, shinagawa

nepoja Shinagawa Station



Post box, Japanese post boxes, Nara, visit Nara, saga

tarako_tarara Takeo Post Office, Saga



Silk Road, Shinomiya Central Postoffice, Nara



Japan’s unique postboxes are yet another fun thing for visitors to keep their eyes open for and a reason to step off the beaten track during their travels. The story and history behind a Game Boy shaped postbox lurking in the mountains of Kagawa Prefecture remains unclear at the time of this article’s writing. Up for a scavenger hunt?



Post box, Japanese post boxes, Nara, visit Nara, toshima

tacchiy747 Sugamon, Sugamo Toshima, Tokyo



Post box, Japanese post boxes, Nara, visit Nara, miyazaki

omaomao_midori Miyazaki Station



A list of Japan’s unusual monument mail boxes can be found here (Japanese)


Post box, Japanese post boxes, Nara, visit Nara, ashiyama zoo

pekopeko_kuro Asahiyama Zoo



Post box, Japanese post boxes, Nara, visit Nara, asakusa

mu_takezou Asakusa Orange



Post box, Japanese post boxes, Nara, visit Nara, asakusa

mu_takezou Asakusa



Post box, Japanese post boxes, Nara, visit Nara, aomori

mu_takezou Aomori ASPAM Sight Seeing Center



Post box, Japanese post boxes, Nara, visit Nara,

moscub Kyoto Central Post Office



Post box, Japanese post boxes, Nara, visit Nara,

moruteka Tokyo



Post box, Japanese post boxes, Nara, visit Nara,yokohama zoo

mmari1981m Zoorasia Yokohama Zoological Gardens




Post box, Japanese post boxes, Nara, visit Nara,

misari7 Osaka



Post box, Japanese post boxes, Nara, visit Nara, hikone

mipon_n Hikone Castle, Shiga



Post box, Japanese post boxes, Nara, visit Nara, aichi

m.saito.08 Takahama, Aichi



Post box, Japanese post boxes, Nara, visit Nara, fukuoka

lunaluna_m Dazaihu Station, Fukuoka



maki_0807 Tokoname Ceramic Center, Aichi



Post box, Japanese post boxes, Nara, visit Nara, nagasaki

fugumika Nagasaki Station



hanavodka Kumamoto



Post box, Japanese post boxes, Nara, visit Nara, hiroshima

fu_kei_in Higashihiroshima, Sakagura-doori



Post box, Japanese post boxes, Nara, visit Nara, shinjuku

fm_ym Isetan Shinjuku



Post box, Japanese post boxes, Nara, visit Nara,

fm_ym Otemachi, Tokyo



Post box, Japanese post boxes, Nara, visit Nara, hokkaido

etonao Abira, Iburi, Hokkaido



Post box, Japanese post boxes, Nara, visit Nara, fukuoka

dhyansukhi Fukuoka



Post box, Japanese post boxes, Nara, visit Nara, kanazawa

chignon.chignon Kanazawa Station



dai_fuku_3 Naruko, Miyagi



Post box, Japanese post boxes, Nara, visit Nara, nagoya museum

coco_mio Nagoya Aquarium



Post box, Japanese post boxes, Nara, visit Nara, makoto-chan

autumn_1000 Makoto-chan, Philatelic Museum, Mejiro, Tokyo



Post box, Japanese post boxes, Nara, visit Nara, haneda airport

5aki.5 Haneda International Airport, Tokyo



Post box, Japanese post boxes, Nara, visit Nara, harbor land kobe

163chanyan Harbor Land, Kobe



Post box, Japanese post boxes, Nara, visit Nara, hokkaido

Abandoned Kansai Hakodate, Hokkaido



Post box, Japanese post boxes, Nara, visit Nara, yamagata

Lion heads (獅子頭) in Sakata, Yamagata



Post box, Japanese post boxes, Nara, visit Nara, iwate

Kappa postbox outside Tono station, Iwate



Post box, Japanese post boxes, Nara, visit Nara, chogosonshi-ji Temple, Shigi-san, tiger

Chogosonshi-ji Temple, Nara



Post box, Japanese post boxes, Nara, visit Nara, pikachu, yokohama

Pikachu, Yokohama City Hall


Post box, Japanese post boxes, Nara, visit Nara, pikachu

Yokohama



Post box, Japanese post boxes, Nara, visit Nara, gamagori

Gamagori Station



Let's keep this list going. If you have any pictures to add to Amazing Japanese Postboxes, please get in touch.

 

Arthor: NARA Visitor Center & Inn

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