When you travel to Japan, where do you absolutely have to go? Supermarket, Convenience store or Drugstore? Those places are also interesting, but we recommend visiting the post office.
Have you ever needed to mail something or pick up a package while traveling in Japan? Like in most of the rest of the world, Japan has an efficient postal system with 24,000 post offices scattered all over the country to meet mailing needs.
If you ever need to find a post office and need some help, you can always ask a friendly passerby or a police officer. Just say “Yubinkyoku wa doko desu ka?” (Yubinkyoku means a Post Office). They will certainly be able to point you in the right direction.
Normally, post offices just sell local stamps and postcards, but Japanese post offices have much more elaborate setups. Even if you don’t plan to send a letter or package, try checking out a post office.
Every regional post office sells its own exclusive postcards and other special local items. These ingenious, quintessentially Japanese items are perfect as souvenirs. Once you see them, you’ll definitely want to pick some up for yourself.
When you visit Japan, you will often see exclusive goods only available in certain areas. Of course, the post office is no different. Japan Post installs unique mailboxes in every city that fit with the local vibe. It seems that as you get further away from Tokyo, the mailboxes get more and more local character.
The ATMs in Japanese post offices can be used to withdraw money using a foreign issued credit card or cash card. Look out for the green “International ATM Service” sign and choose the English “Visitor’s Withdrawal” menu and instructions. You need your PIN number and can withdraw depending on your credit limit.
Did you get a feel for the charms of the Japanese postal service? When you’ve traveled to a far-flung place, drop by the post office to get a region-exclusive postcard, address it to yourself and it’s sure to become a great memory of your travels. Venture to the post office and look for the postcard that you like best.
Post Office Operating Hours
Normal Japanese post offices are usually open Monday-Friday 9 am-5 pm for mail and Monday-Friday 9 am-4 pm for other services such as insurance, banking, postal orders and bill payments. Local post offices are closed at weekends and National Holidays.
However, each city’s central post office usually located near the main railway station will have a 24/7 counter. Typically central post offices are open Monday-Friday 9 am-7 pm, Saturday 9 am-5 pm and Sunday 9 am-12.30 pm. Outside those hours an all-night window operates until the post office reopens fully the next day.