Mr. Panda Postman

1 Aug

To celebrate the new pandas that came to 上野動物園 (Ueno Zoo) in Tokyo last February, the design of the public mailbox just outside the zoo has been changed to resemble a panda starting today.

The mailbox even has "panda ears" and a "panda tail".

To publicize the new 「パンダポスト」 (panda mailbox), the zoo had a ceremony with children from a nearby 幼稚園 (pre-school) drop postcards into the mailbox after which a “panda postman” came to collect the cards.

The "Panda Postman".

Many Tokyo TV stations had news crews there to film the ceremony.
Here is Tokyo Broadcasting Station (TBS)‘s news report about the 「パンダポスト」 (Panda mailbox):

You can see the kids from the pre-school putting their postcards into the mailbox. But, as is Japanese manners, the first child says 「パンダポストマンさんよろしくお願いします!」…which isn’t easy to translate into English, but it’s close to “Thank you, Mr. Panda Postman!“.

All mail deposited into this “panda mailbox” will be delivered with a special panda postal cancellation mark over the stamp.

The zoo is hoping that many people will make a special trip to mail letters from this mailbox…and then visit the zoo.
It is now summer vacation in Japan. Many people, especially families and couples, like to visit places such as amusement parks and zoos during this time. And also, many people in Japan send 「かもメール」 (summer postcards) to friends and relatives…and I’m sure many people will use the panda mailbox to send them from now.

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12 Responses to “Mr. Panda Postman”

  1. gigihawaii August 2, 2011 at 1:06 am #

    I loved Ueno Zoo when we visited Tokyo in 2008 and would love to see the new pandas there next time.

    • tokyo5 August 2, 2011 at 11:07 pm #

      Yeah, you should come back to Tokyo and visit the zoo again!

  2. Ariel Havanah August 2, 2011 at 1:29 am #

    That’s too cute! :D

    • tokyo5 August 2, 2011 at 11:08 pm #

      Japan likes “cute”.

  3. metalodyssey August 2, 2011 at 10:04 am #

    That’s very cool. Pandas are cool. Sure beats the ” boring blue” mailboxes I have to use and look at everyday! Hey, I wouldn’t be surprised to one day see a KISS mailbox over there in Japan. Your country tries out neat ideas all the time it seems. :)

    Um… or am I stretching it too much here? Lol I’m losing it again. :o

    • tokyo5 August 2, 2011 at 11:15 pm #

      I could imagine the Japan Post Office decorating a mailbox in the likeness of KISS…if there was a reason—such as KISS postage stamps (which I’d definitely buy!).

      But, then again, there have been Star Wars and other pop culture postage stamps in Japan (I have some of them) and no mailboxes were changed to promote them.

      • metalodyssey August 2, 2011 at 11:49 pm #

        Japan is/has always been on the cutting edge with Pop culture. I can imagine realistically, there being KISS postage stamps one day there.

        Whenever a panda is born “in captivity” here in the U.S., it makes headlines. Those pandas are so endangered. :(

      • tokyo5 August 3, 2011 at 12:26 am #

        >Japan is/has always been on the cutting edge with Pop culture.

        Yes. But America’s pop culture is found all around the world too.

        >Whenever a panda is born “in captivity” here in the U.S., it makes headlines.

        In Japan too.

        >Those pandas are so endangered.

        Yeah, that’s too bad. Hopefully the panda population will increase one day (like the Florida alligator has done).
        The difficulty that people who care for pandas have in regards with increasing their numbers is that pandas are lazy and disinterested in breeding (or anything except eating and sleeping).

  4. musings August 3, 2011 at 1:49 pm #

    We’ve never been to Ueno Zoo. I guess we’ve been spoiled by our Brookfield and Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago. I’ll mention it to my husband for next spring, but right now our schedule seems packed… as usual.

    • tokyo5 August 3, 2011 at 5:07 pm #

      >We’ve never been to Ueno Zoo.

      If you have a chance, you should go. Or even better, Tama Zoo is western Tokyo or Tobu Zoo in Saitama.

      > I guess we’ve been spoiled by our Brookfield and Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago.

      Are they very nice? I’ve never been to Chicago.

      • musings August 5, 2011 at 4:47 pm #

        Yes, those zoos are very nice. Big and gorgeous. Brookfield requires a lot of walking. Lincoln Park Zoo is right within the city and compact. We used to take our first grade students there a lot.

      • tokyo5 August 5, 2011 at 5:01 pm #

        >Big and gorgeous. Brookfield requires a lot of walking.

        That’s like Tokyo’s Tama Zoo and Saitama’s Tobu Zoo.

        >Lincoln Park Zoo is right within the city and compact.

        Similarly to downtown Tokyo’s Ueno Zoo.

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