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Postcrossing blog

News, updates, and all kinds of goodies and stories from the postal world!

Gotochi cards!

Lately, Japanese Gotochi Cards are becoming quite popular and sought after among postcrossers - so we thought it would be fun to tell you a bit more about them here on the blog. Read on!

Japanese Gotochi CardsJapanese Gotochi Cards

Gotochi cards are designed and released by the Japanese Postal System, and each one of them represents a place in Japan - hence the name 'gotochi', which means 'local'. They showcase Japanese symbols (which might be local dishes, costumes, monuments, landscapes, etc.) on a national and regional level, in a brightly coloured and fun cartoon.

Japanese Gotochi CardsJapanese Gotochi Cards

Gotochi cards have a couple of unique features that make them special. First of all, they are not perfect rectangles, but in fact take on the shape of their picture. Also, each card not only has a cartoon picture on it, but also the name of the place that is depicted in the image. Every prefecture has multiple cards, which might be one of the reasons that collecting them has taken off and became such a popular hobby!

Japanese Gotochi CardsJapanese Gotochi Cards

Some of the most famous Gotochi postcards include Kyoto's Geisha's and Ibaraki's melons. You can check out the whole collection of cards on the postcard collection site.

Hope you enjoyed discovering the Japanese Gotochi cards! Which one is your favourite? :)

Note: While they are super-cute, please bear in mind that they are also more expensive to send than normal postcards - and so it is hard for Japanese postcrossers to send a lot of them.


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68 comments so far

irina_koloshva, Ukraine
Wow! What a wonderful postcards! I've heard before about these, but never seen. Thanks for telling about such amazing postcards! Maybe someday in my collection will appear Gotochi card :)
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Spriggan, United States of America
I really enjoy tottori's card :) I wonder what our Japanese postcrossers think of these cards-if they collect their own region's card or like their region's best :)
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BOOGIE_PIPPIN, United Kingdom
Super cards and so different, they would be a special and unusual addition to any Postcrosser's collection. I have never heard of them but would love to receive one, maybe one day I will.
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lupideeloop, Spain
Awesome cards! I like lot japanese cards, but those ones are really special. Maybe a day I'll get one of them from my mailbox...
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idus, Germany
Great cards!
"Maybe a day I'll get one of them from my mailbox..."-
I really hope so, too! :-)
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bodrumlu, Turkey
nice
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hmthompson, United States of America
June 2011, I received a bright red, postal box-shaped postcard from Lyo in Japan. Now, I think it may be a Gotochi about which I knew nothing at that time. Just checked: it has been "favourited" 73 times . Fun blog . I am staying loyal but I still think the new logo is a disservice to this site.
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JadeKatCos, United States of America
I like these cards as much as anyone, but living in Japan, I can tell you why a lot of Japanese Postcrossers don't send them (probably). They're a bit pricey to buy, and cost almost double to send. Among other reasons, I'm sure, but those are mine. As much as I love Postcrossing, it's just too expensive to fill all the requests of people wanting the Gotochi cards. It also feels like they don't even know which card I might offer, they just want one from SOMEONE, which doesn't feel very personal and thus ruins my warm-fuzzies. I had to turn off my swap requests. :
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JadeKatCos, United States of America
Aaannnd I just saw the tag at the end of the article which mentioned that they're expensive, but I can't edit my comment...
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Forestchapel80, Netherlands
I recently received a Gotochi card, did not know what it was. After checking out on the internet; it was clear that the card, was a real Gotochi card, so I thanked the sender again, :-) She explained me all about the special cards and the prefectures. In the meantime I found out, that I have a traditional Japanese Kokeshi doll myself , did not know that either! So I would love to receive a Gotochi card of the Miyagi one day, but all the Gotochi cards are very special!! : I know now,:-)
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sinta, Indonesia
I love Japanese culture and hope to receive my first Gotochi one day :-)))
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Firerubynat, United Kingdom
Oh, now I understand more now Gotochi is so special XD Thanks so much for the info~!
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Phibbyfan, Japan
I love Gotochi and try to buy them when I go to a new prefecture. (I do swap, but only for other Gotochi cards). There is a Gotochi postcard quiz for those who think they know them:
http://www.sporcle.com/games/phibbyfan/japanese-prefectures-by-postcard
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9teen87, United States of America
sooooo cute!!!
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texasdreamer, United States of America
Oh...I didn't realize that is what a Gotochi card is! And now that I've learned that they are expensive then I don't want to request one but they are very nice and unique!
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muybien138, Japan
I bought some gotochi cards yesterday. Some lucky guys of you will receive them.
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fire_maggie, United States of America
I think the ones shaped like postboxes are actually not gotochi cards. Gotochi cards come from each prefecture and depict famous things from that prefecture. The postbox cards are produced everywhere and look the same aside from the name of the post office on the front, I think.

I had an interesting discussion with a Japanese postcrosser who showed me the postal regulations where it is actually not legal to send shaped cards internationally without an envelope. However, I have sent and received them without envelopes without a problem. Postage was 260yen, more than 3x the price of sending a normal postcard. That's in addition to the price of buying the card in the first place.
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Phibbyfan, Japan
The postbox-shaped cards are not prefectural but they are made by the same artist and those cards come in seasonal varieties, so many people collect them with the prefecture cards. They have also recently begun producing Birthday cards featuring animals.

It is not legal in Japan to send cards made of anything but paper in Japan without an envelope, so yes, Gotochi cards (made of cardboard) as well as 3-D cards must be sent in envelopes.
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Phibbyfan, Japan
I meant internationally, as fire_maggie stated. The Gotochi's can be sent domestically without envelopes.
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Kindergarteners, United States of America
I love gotochi cards, they Sure are a perfect addition to any collection of postcards. Hopefully one day I can get one.
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YiliLoh, Malaysia
Wow, the gotochi cards are cute! I wish I would receive it someday for my collection! Perhaps, anyone wishes to swap with me?! :P
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Aliverani, Italy
Thanks for the info!
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Duplevista, United Kingdom
A very interesting article, these are great cards. I have been lucky enough to have been sent a couple (plus a postbox) in my years on PX - love them.
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Lvova, Russia
Hey, don't you have problems with RSS? http://posctross-blog.livejournal.com/24060.html - see the second link
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ned44440, Ireland
Delighted to learn more about Gotochi Cards. They really do look lovely and I would be very happy to see one landing on my doormat someday. What a privilage. I will never ask for them, though, because of the expense to our Japanese Postcrossers. Thank you to the Postcrossing Team for explaining and showing more about these beautiful cards.
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tinkx, United Kingdom
Our class of girls all decided that the monkeys were their favourite. They are our favourite animals and they are sooooo cute!!! Thank you for showing them to us! x
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meiadeleite, Portugal
Thank you all who commented about the price of sending - I've corrected the post. :)
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Ninja_Neko, Belgium
Love these cards! Wish they'd exist when I visited Japan, these would make such great souvenirs to collect as well. Another reason to go back :)
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manatii, Japan
I like Gotochi card and I also collect it by myself! Officially it isn't sold on the internet. So I have to go to get it for each prefecture. It's hard but when I get it I feel very happy. :D I'm also happy if I can please someone who wants to get Gotochi card through postcrossing! ;)
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Luziaceleste, Brazil
This is wonderful example on promoting cultural values. I would love to see iniciatives like that all around. Why not?
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kirimon, United States of America
My favorite one is Kumamoto! These are so great!!! Thank you for the post!
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Corentin-L, France
They are so beautiful! I hope that one day I could get one :D By the way, do you know that there are also Gotochi-style cards made in Taiwan (R.O.C.)?
Here you can find some:
http://pocztowki-podrozdookolaswiata.blogspot.fr/search/label/GOTOCHI%20CARD
(the one from Taiwan have the tag "TAJWAN/TAIWAN)
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hotangels, Singapore
Thanks for the information! Actually I'm a big fan of gotochi cards, and I do feel it is really very hard for foreign fans to collect them. I fully understand the postage issue over there, so that I wanna thank every kind-hearted postcrosser who once sent me gotochi cards. Thanks a lot!
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MariaElisa, Finland
Thanks for this information - I had also heard the name but didn't really know what it means. It's also good to know that they are pricey, and interesting that posting is more expensive. It's a bit like our Moomin postcards - but while some of them are more pricey, posting even in an envelope doesn't cost any more than a normal postcard.
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hotangels, Singapore
@Corentin-L
Check out there for the Taiwan Gotochi-style cards
http://miludesign.shop.rakuten.tw/c/134490/
This is the official online-shop of it. Up to now they have published 34 Gotochi-style cards.
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uglyspinster, Germany
I've just found out I've received a gotoshi card: http://www.postcrossing.com/postcards/HK-53300 I didn't know what it was though. Plus it wasn't sent from Japan but from Hong Kong.
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EclecticCollect, United Kingdom
I love to receive one I'm a fan of the Japanese crafts and art. Always looking for interesting postcard to send, there was free museum in my city which one sold holographic or weird texture postcard. On recent visit they don't any and stock stand art imagery. I wish I kept some for postcrossing.
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DorotheeB, Germany
Thanks a lot for explaining about the Gotochi cards, now I know what people ask for when they talk about those cards - and most of all I know WHY they do this, as those cards are fantastic.
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MementoMori, Canada
I have the 2009 card from Shiga prefecture, it's a special part of my collection :)
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luisa, Philippines
Yap nice cards indeed. Now I'm hoping that someone will send me some Gotochi Cards
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rosenbusch, Germany
Now I understand more about the special postcards. Thank you for the information....
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Drielandenpunt, Netherlands
As they are so popular, here's an idea for the creative souls among Postcrossers.
Wouldn't it be interesting to try and make a brightly-coloured gotochi-style card with some symbol of our own area or country, wherever we might live? (everybody could send a picture for display on the next issue of the Postcrossing blog)
Also a nice thank-you card if we got one of those very special original Gotochi cards from Japan.
Greetings to all!
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Forestchapel80, Netherlands
Nice idea, Drielandenpunt!!
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volvomom, United States of America
Wow! I've never received one, but am now so waiting for one to arrive in my mailbox!
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Agneskowa, Poland
This is my favourite postcard from Japan.
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YITICH, Taiwan
In Taiwan,we have this kinds of postcard,is similarly like Gotochi ~( http://miludesign.shop.rakuten.tw/c/134490/)

Is really beautiful too: )
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islander61, Bahamas
Never seen them before but they are beautiful. Would welcome one :)
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britlan, United States of America
I love reading your blogs. You always have some very interesting things for postcrossers. The Gotochi cards are very unique and fun cards.
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larac, United States of America
I live in Okinawa and hope to swap Gotochi cards with other prefectures. One suggestion for those outside Japan maybe you could offer to swap two postcards for a Gotochi? Some people might be more willing to pay the extra that way.
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de88ie, United States of America
That is really cool!! Maybe some day one will cross my way :)
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idus, Germany
Good idea, larac! Maybe that would work.
What do our (other) Japanese postcrossers think about that suggestion?
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mysweetlife63, United States of America
These cards are great, no wonder they are highly sought after. I have seen that term on profile request lists recently. I would certainly be smiling if I received one!! Thanks for keeping us up to date & informed!
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ganderson, Australia
Wow, I have heard of these card but have never seen then. They are wonderful and you would feel very special to receive one, lets hope more are sent now.
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vikamiya, Taiwan
I also like the Japan's Post office's blog :
http://blog.postacollect.com/
it is about travel Japan with Gotochi. :)
and sometime use match special postmark. ^^
I try use some Gotochi in my Japan travel,
it is a interesting thing.
like this : http://images.plurk.com/2ZVMp5pC8dv8jdnanWFkOl.jpg
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Tatyana_Ishenko, Russia
I was very lucky! :) My first card was received Gotochi from Aomori with red apples: http://www.postcrossing.com/postcards/JP-268006
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TwiggyBlueNose, France
You will all laugh very hard at me but I thought that gotochi was just the Japanese word for Hello Kitty. :lol: Maybe because I saw on a profile that someone collected "Gotochi / Hello Kitty cards" ans I assumed it to be a translation.
Now that I've seen them I find them very cute. I think about asking my Japanese penpal to get me one as it would be unfair to ask for them on Postcrossing because of their postage price.
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mingshu, Finland
it is really special postcards. i can imagine it cost more to send them. i´ve got 2 or 3 :) i love the taiwanese similar style too ...thanks to a lovely taiwanese postcrosser ^^
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maoyuhui, China
From the comments above, I think Chinese postcrosser are really amazing. Many of my friends have collected all the (188 or 189 I don't remember exactly)Gotochi cards and postboxes and really lots of people have most of them. The people who finished collecting the Gotochi have started to collect the same Gotochi mini cards and still most of them have both.Many also collected 2 or more the same Gotochi for the trade of the 5th turn of the Gotochi. I'm collecting them too and I hope one day I can collect them all.
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maoyuhui, China
And also the Taiwan shaped cards, there are too kinds, most chinese postcrossers have all of 117 Taiwan shaped cards and 24 shaped cards like Gotochi. And now the mainland also start to publish the shaped card, ShangHai, SiChuan, Beijing, many postcard companies, and they are just not assemble, but some of them are as amazing as Gotochi
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chrissybaby, Ireland
I recently put these into my preference list and I received a couple of amazing ones :) Someone told me these are cheaper to send in an envelope than naked. Always appreciate to get them after it is more expensive to send them.
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money, China
soooooo cute!!!!!!!!!!!
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Tetsuko, Germany
I really love them, but I know about the problem of expenses. But I received my favourite one and I'm happy about that (the Hokkaido one with the bear and fish)
But I still really love these cards =)
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dogfan, United States of America
Beautiful cards! Very cool!
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Biepmiep, Netherlands
Idare not ask for one, because of the extra expenses, but I certainly would like to receive one one day.
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sophie-wang, China
i am collecting gotochi cards now.but it is hard to swap it with Japanese:(
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DiannaMacau, Macao
I love the card and stamps from Japan, lucky me I had received few of those cards too. Thank you for sharing.
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salt_on_my_skin, United States of America
these are so cute, would love to get them all! :)
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idus, Germany
Does anyone here know where in Tokyo one can buy these Gotochi cards??
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