Missing Post Office – Mitoyo, Japan - Atlas Obscura

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Missing Post Office

Mitoyo, Japan

A unique art exhibit home to letters addressed to those unable to receive them. 


On the small island of Awashima in Kagawa Prefecture, a one-of-a-kind art project known as the Missing Post Office claims its home in the half-century-old building of a former post office. Conceived by artist Saya Kubota, who serves as its honorary postal worker, it was created in 2013 for the Setouchi Triennale art festival.

Missing Post Office is meant to be the destination of all letters addressed to those unable to receive them. Once letters arrive at the post office, they are placed in one of several tin PO boxes that are hanging by a wire. They appear to float in the air. They were designed to make wave-like sounds, in keeping with the post office’s drifting theme. As part of the art project, visitors can read the letters and even bring one home if they feel certain that it’s addressed to them.

Originally designed as a temporary exhibit, Kubota decided to keep the Missing Post Office as letters kept coming in by the hundreds. Today, while she is usually away, Mr. Nakada, former postmaster of the now-defunct Awashima Post Office that once stood on the spot, runs the location. Visitors are also welcome to write a letter and leave it at the post office. 

Know Before You Go

The island is 15 minutes by ferry from Port Suda in the town of Takuma, which sails eight times a day. As there is no public transport here, you must walk for about 10 minutes from Port Awashima or rent a bicycle.

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February 14, 2022

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