Susami, Wakayama – Japan has the world’s deepest mailbox – it’s 10 meters (33 ft.) underwater.
And it’s not just for show, it handles 200 pieces of mail a day. Postcards are written using grease pens and waterproof paper, then you rock scuba gear to place it in the box.
The mailbox is for use by divers who buy water-resistant postcards at Yamatani’s store and write messages on them with an oil-based paint marker. An employee of the shop collects the cards once every few days and takes them to the local post office. The items are then delivered to recipients within a week of being posted.
The mailbox was created as part of a fair in 1999 to promote the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage trail and surrounding areas in the southern part of Wakayama’s Kii Peninsula. With Susami having no special attraction, Toshihiko Matsumoto, 70, then-postmaster of the town, proposed an undersea postbox.
An old, red mailboxt for the underwater collection of cards and installed when the fair began in April 1999.
Some 32,000 items of mail have since been posted in the box, which was recognized by Guinness World Records as the “Deepest Underwater Mailbox” in 2002.
As seawater severely corrodes the cast-iron box, two of them are used in rotation every six months, allowing each to be cleaned and repainted. “We have no replacement if they become unusable,”