I’ve mentioned Postcrossing several times now. Postcrossing is a postcard website that allows people all over the world to send and receive random postcards. I’ve always enjoyed getting mail. Scratch that–I’ve always enjoyed getting letters and postcards; smiles if you will and not bills! I joined Postcrossing shortly after Laura was born. I was home, exhausted, not sleeping at all and basically functioning like a zombie. Somewhere in my mind, though, there was a functioning brain cell that remembered hearing about Postcrossing from a friend. I signed up and I haven’t looked back 🙂
Postcrossing works on a “send and you will receive” philosophy. New members can send up to five cards to begin with–each time one of your cards is received and registered, your address is given to another postcrosser and it’s your turn to get a card! Ironically enough, I’ve never received an “official” postcrossing card from Japan. In three years on the site, I have, however, sent two cards to Japan. Japan is ranked 11th by sent postcards on the site. By way of comparison, France is 14th while the United States and Finland are first and second respectively.
I have come across all sorts of neat postcards and postcard collections since I started. One of my discoveries was the Japanese Posta Collect and Gotochi postcards. The Japanese mailbox shown here was my very first one. I love shaped cards in general. Mailboxes, it must go with the letter-lover in me, are a special treat. French mailboxes are yellow–you can find both modern versions and older metal boxes in service near our house. (The links are just examples that I found online. I need to get our camera fixed so that I can show you some local ones.) I have winter and spring versions of the mailbox card to show you another day.
The Gotochi Postcards are perhaps even more unique. Each Japanese prefecture has its own card which you can only buy at select post offices in that area. You can click on the link and browse through them. The card is supposed to reflect the area from which it comes–animals, fish, festivals, architecture and food have all been featured. As you can see each card has its own unique shape and design. They’re rather large cards and expensive too. Luckily for the rest of us, some Japanese postcrossers do send them occasionally. I’ve read enough at this point to realize that there are some very serious collectors out there determined to get all the cards. To make matters more difficult, there are apparently at least 2 or 3 different editions of these cards. (I have three different Kyoto cards.) I can understand wanting to have the entire set–I set out to get mapcards from all 50 US states and was thrilled when I finally did it. That said, sending postcards is supposed to be a fun hobby and not an excuse to harass others for special cards. I’d like to send a big “arigato” to each person who has sent me a mailbox or Gotochi card. I have nine cards to share with you here on this blog and treasure them all. I’ll leave you with a challenge today–think of how wonderful it is to put cards in your mailbox, whatever size or color it is, and send someone a special card today!