Prefecture that introduced Slowpoke as its governor recruits him for the postal service.

This month saw two new additions to Japan’s expanding Pokémon manhole cover project, with Mew showing up in the country’s southern islands and Geodude near its northern tip. But waterworks are just one facet of public infrastructure, and now its time for the franchise to lend some adorable star power to another, with the installation of the very first Pokémon public mailbox.

▼ Snail mail? Nope, it’s Slowpoke mail!

March 23 was the big day at the Takamatsu Chuo Post Office in Takamatsu, the capital city of Kagawa Prefecture. Representatives of the postal service were joined by Slowpoke, as it’s the laid-back Psychic-type who graces the box, sitting atop it in statue form and also appearing, in his evolved Slowbro and Sloking forms, in illustrations on its sides.

▼ Though it’s a box, the color scheme comes from the classic Poké Ball.

But why Slowpoke? For the same reason as a lot of things: Japan’s unabashed love of puns. In Japanese-language versions of the Pokémon game/anime, Slowpoke’s name is “Yadon,” which is just one syllable off from “udon,” the type of noodles that Kagawa is said to make more deliciously than anywhere else in Japan. Kagawa even refers to itself as “Udon Prefecture” in tourism campaigns.

In addition to a bowl of udon, the front of the box has a drawing of the Seto Ohashi Bridge, which links the island of Shikoku (of which Kagawa is a part) to Japan’s main island of Honshu. Around back, Shellder can be seen trying to sneak a taste of Slowpoke’s delicious tail, as per Pokémon lore.

And yes, this is an official, fully functioning mailbox, meaning that you can actually drop your letters in it and have them delivered…possibly by Takamatsu’s new Slowpoke mail van.

It’s all quite an honor for a Pokémon species who often gets overshadowed by his flashier or more active costars, though totally keeping with the love Kagawa has shown for Slowpoke. After all, they did make the guy governor that one time.

▼ And that respect goes both ways, as shown by Slowpoke dressing up in a dapperly formal bowtie for the mailbox ceremony.

Unlike a lot of anime/video game tie-ups, the Slowpoke mailbox is a permanent installation, so even if you’re not heading to Takamatsu in the immediate future, make sure to swing by when you do eventually add the city to your Japan travel itinerary. Oh, and really this should go without saying, but do not stick your trash in it.

Post office information
Takamatsu Chuo Post Office / 高松中央郵便局
Address: Kagawa-ken, Takamtsu-shi, Uchimachi 1-15

Source, images: PR Times
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Follow Casey on Twitter, where he never expected “Pokémon species names” to be an area of Japanese vocabulary he’d need to study.