This is a post office near my home. Not the one I use regularly, but close enough that I can use it as well sometimes (it’s close to the supermarket I go to). That’s point number one: there are many post offices in Japan, so you rarely need to walk far to get to one.
My usage of the post office is mostly for sending registered mail to Tokyo. I go there 2-3 times a month for this purpose. The post office is open all day, every day. In the two years I’ve lived here, only once did I need to wait in line to get served, and the line consisted of one person. Point number two: the post office is always open, and one rarely needs to wait in line.
Why don’t I go to the post office for other purposes? Because there is no need to. All mail and parcels are delivered to my home, regardless of size (from regular envelopes to oversized boxes). Furthermore, if I’m not home, a note is left in the mailbox and I can reschedule the delivery to any time I like, including late evening. Point number three: there is no need to go to the post office to collect anything as everything gets delivered to you personally at home.
Recently, I saw the following post in Facebook:
The Story of 38 yen
Last week I went to a Post office that I rarely go to and bought some envelopes to send a package overseas but I forgot to take my change (38yen). That evening the Post office called my home to let me know that they had my change and they would keep it for me until I picked it up. How did they find me? From the return address on the package I had sent! Today (almost a week after sending the letter) I went back to that Post office and retrieved my change. The very kind woman behind the counter immediately retrieved my change from an envelope they had stored in the back office and apologized for causing me trouble and bothering me at home.
All for 38 yen.
I continue to be humbled by the service levels in Japan, and from the Post Office no less.
By the way. The registered mail I send to Tokyo, 500km away, unfailingly gets there in 1-2 days. Israeli readers can compare that with this recent test done with Israel Postal Service.
(This is a post in the series “Why Japan is the Closest Place to Paradise“)