Unique Japanese Mail Boxes Are Wonderful in Rain or Shine

Japan Post mail collection boxes tend to look the same: They're either large and red or large and orange-red. Boring! But then, there are some that are truly works of art.

Here's what post boxes look like in Japan. These are the Japan Post's equivalent of those iconic blue U.S. Postal Service boxes. These are not novelty mailboxes that people put in front of their yards.

Unique Japanese Mail Boxes Are Wonderful in Rain or Shine

Unique Japanese Mail Boxes Are Wonderful in Rain or Shine

In the past, Japan Post's mailboxes were round, like the Royal Mail boxes in the United Kingdom.

Unique Japanese Mail Boxes Are Wonderful in Rain or Shine

In Japan, however, there are rather unusual Japan Post mailboxes. In a similar way to the cute road construction signs, these unique mailboxes brighten up the commonplace urban environment by adding a bit of flair, whether that's cute characters or an old castle (see above).

Some of the post boxes are for tourists. Some are to mark important events or anniversaries. Some are just for fun.

Let's have a look at some of the country's standouts:

Unique Japanese Mail Boxes Are Wonderful in Rain or Shine

A tea urn-shaped post box in Kyoto.

Unique Japanese Mail Boxes Are Wonderful in Rain or Shine

A post office building-shaped post box in Yamaguchi.

Unique Japanese Mail Boxes Are Wonderful in Rain or Shine

Another interesting post box in Yamaguchi. This one has a fish.

Unique Japanese Mail Boxes Are Wonderful in Rain or Shine

Here's a stork in Hyogo Prefecture.

Unique Japanese Mail Boxes Are Wonderful in Rain or Shine

A train-shaped post box in Tokyo.

Unique Japanese Mail Boxes Are Wonderful in Rain or Shine

On top of this post box in Tokushima Prefecture, you can see a child and a woman dancing.

Unique Japanese Mail Boxes Are Wonderful in Rain or Shine

This is in Osaka Prefecture.

Unique Japanese Mail Boxes Are Wonderful in Rain or Shine

Found in a "fruit park" in Yamanashi Prefecture.

Unique Japanese Mail Boxes Are Wonderful in Rain or Shine

A dude with a sword in Aomori.

Unique Japanese Mail Boxes Are Wonderful in Rain or Shine

A maguro (tuna) post box in Miyagi Prefecture.

Unique Japanese Mail Boxes Are Wonderful in Rain or Shine

Unique Japanese Mail Boxes Are Wonderful in Rain or Shine

The manga GeGeGe no Kitaro gets a post box in Tottori Prefecture.

Unique Japanese Mail Boxes Are Wonderful in Rain or Shine

A "Dutch house" in Nagasaki. The Dutch had a trading post in Nagasaki.

Unique Japanese Mail Boxes Are Wonderful in Rain or Shine

A samurai head dress post box. It's located in Shiga.

Unique Japanese Mail Boxes Are Wonderful in Rain or Shine

A post box shaped like a "bin temari", which is a type of craft. This is located in Shiga, too.

Unique Japanese Mail Boxes Are Wonderful in Rain or Shine

This one was found in Saitama Prefecture.

Unique Japanese Mail Boxes Are Wonderful in Rain or Shine

A snowman-shaped post box in Hokkaido.

Unique Japanese Mail Boxes Are Wonderful in Rain or Shine

Here's a post box in Ishikawa Prefecture with a dragon on it.

Unique Japanese Mail Boxes Are Wonderful in Rain or Shine

The largest post box in the world, which is located in Yamaguchi Prefecture.

Unique Japanese Mail Boxes Are Wonderful in Rain or Shine

You didn't think we'd make it through this story without a Hello Kitty post box, did you?

Photos: Tsushin, Khimyu, Twipple, ゼクシィ, 4travel, 絵本びより, まとめ, Mick3, きょうと明日とこれからと, Tat'z&T滋賀の珍しポスト, Nifty, Mizuki, Zaq, FTM三十路が歩む道, Gussannaw, チャレンジ すなふきんの旅に出てはみたけれど…並んだポスト

To contact the author of this post, write to bashcraftATkotaku.com or find him on Twitter @Brian_Ashcraft.

Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.