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 US Postal Service boxes. These are not novelty mailboxes that people put in front of their yards.
In the past, Japan Post's mailboxes were round, like the Royal Mail boxes in the United Kingdom.
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:
A tea urn-shaped post box in Kyoto.
A post office building-shaped post box in Yamaguchi.
Another interesting post box in Yamaguchi. This one has a fish.
Here's a stork in Hyogo Prefecture.
A train-shaped post box in Tokyo.
On top of this post box in Tokushima Prefecture, you can see a child and a woman dancing.
This is in Osaka Prefecture.
Found in a "fruit park" in Yamanashi Prefecture.
A dude with a sword in Aomori.
A maguro (tuna) post box in Miyagi Prefecture.
The manga GeGeGe no Kitaro gets a post box in Tottori Prefecture.
A "Dutch house" in Nagasaki. The Dutch had a trading post in Nagasaki.
A samurai head dress post box. It's located in Shiga.
A post box shaped like a "bin temari", which is a type of craft. This is located in Shiga, too.
This one was found in Saitama Prefecture.
A snowman-shaped post box in Hokkaido.
Here's a post box in Ishikawa Prefecture with a dragon on it.
The largest post box in the world, which is located in Yamaguchi Prefecture.
You didn't think we'd make it through this story without a Hello Kitty post box, did you?
Pictures: 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 <a href="http://kotaku.com/ショッピング、http://ameblo.jp/965uchi/entry-10922778486.html">すなふきんの旅に出てはみたけれど…並んだポスト