A humble mailbox with a roundabout connection to ’90s J-Pop idol group Mi-Ke.

In Japan, public mailboxes come in many shapes and sizes, but when it comes to the old-school cement pillar box types, they’re always painted red.

Image: Pakutaso

However, there is one old post box that isn’t red — it’s blue, and there’s only one spot in the country where you can see it: Chiba Prefecture.

Tokyo’s neighbouring prefecture of Chiba is a large one, though, so whereabouts in Chiba is it located? That’s a question a lot of Japanese people don’t know the answer to, and even our own reporter P.K. Sanjun had no idea it existed until he stumbled upon it while visiting the area with his family recently.

▼ The sign beside the post box proudly reads: “The only one in Japan! The town with the blue post box.” 

Curious to find out the history behind the blue post box, P.K. did some research on it and discovered it was installed here in 2016, to great fanfare. In the years since, copycat blue postboxes have popped up here and there in Japan, but none of the old pillar boxes have this same sky-blue lustre, making it the pride of the town, and for good reason.

The mailbox was a joint creation between Japan Post and the town where it’s located, and it was designed to draw tourists and capture the magnificent local scenery of blue sky and sea, giving birth to its lovely shade of blue.

Where is the town, though? Well, if you’re a fans of ’90s J-Pop idol group Mi-Ke you might be able to hazard a guess. The name of the town features in one of their songs — a rare claim to fame for Chiba, which hardly ever gets a mention in the pop charts, compared to other towns in other prefectures — and it was once a big hit.

Still unsure of the location? Don’t worry — you’re not alone. P.K. himself kept us all guessing until he eventually revealed all in exchange for his favourite frozen curry.

Are you ready for the answer?

▼ Japan’s only blue mailbox is located in….Kujukuri Town!

Yes, that answer didn’t mean much to us either, until P.K. whipped out his phone and showed us a clip of Mi-Ke singing about the town on stage while showcasing their signature ’60s aesthetic.

▼ The 1991 song is called “Omoide no Kujukurihama” (“Memories of the Kujukuri Seaside“).

If that’s got you wanting to know more about Mi-Ke, P.K. highly recommends giving the group’s fifth single, “Shiroi Shiroi Sangoshou” (“White White Coral Reef”) a listen. He calls it a masterpiece, and it really shows the talent of vocalist Keiko Utoku, who went on to become a famous solo artist in Japan. 

▼ Utoko also sang the opening and closing themes for the original version of the Sonic the Hedgehog CD video game.

As you can probably tell, P.K. has a bit of a soft spot for Mi-Ke, which made his visit to Kujukuri all the more special. He certainly hadn’t expected it to be such a peaceful seaside location, and he hadn’t expected it to be home to a blue post box either, but when he searched for mentions of the pillar box on Instagram, he found it was actually quite a popular spot for Instagram selfies. 

▼ The mailbox is located at “Seaside Plaza Kujukuri“.

It’s not just the blue paint that makes this box so special — the yellow paint on the “Post” sign stands out as different as well.

The cheerful look of the unusual post box gives it a charming, friendly characteristic that makes it even more unique. Of course, it’s more than just a local attraction, though — it’s a fully functioning post box so next time you feel like posting a letter, why not turn the errand into an excuse for a daytrip to the seaside? And you can pop by the shrine with the fishy torii gate while you’re there!

Site Information
Seaside Plaza Kujukuri / 海の駅 九十九里
Address: Chiba-ken, Sambu Gun, Kujukuricho, Kozeki 2347-98

References: Kujukuri TownChiba NipposhaWikipedia
Photos ©SoraNews24 unless otherwise noted

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