We can only hope it’s filled with classic games and AA batteries.
Nintendo-like design keeps popping up in the most unexpected places in Japan. We recently looked at an information desk marker in Tokyo Station that’s all but begging Super Mario fans to jump up and punch it, and now comes a surprising picture taken deep in the mountains.
With warm and sunny weather blessing the country earlier this week, Japanese Twitter user and amateur angler Kota Hirauchi was hiking about and looking for a place to do some fishing when he came across this:
釣り場探してたらこんな物が たまげたなぁ... https://t.co/ibkB1QKZrr—
平内幸太 (@7bXNGnHc1EgqvfS) May 01, 2016
Retro gaming fans no doubt recognize the Game Boy, Nintendo’s first portable system, although it’s picked up some new markings on its face and sides. The maroon 〒 isn’t a stylized letter T, but the mark used in Japan to designate postal service, indicating that this is a functioning mailbox.
While Japan is in many ways a video gaming wonderland, this obviously isn’t what most of the nation’s mailboxes look like. Online commentators with long memories recall seeing oversized Game Boy used as in-store promotional displays when the system was still cutting-edge gaming tech, and one such mockup seems to have been repurposed into the mailbox seen in Hirauchi’s photo.
▼ Original, non-mailbox Game Boy
If you’re wondering why someone would put a mailbox at the edge of a bamboo grove, it’s worth pointing out that the Japanese postal service generally doesn’t pick up items to be mailed from individual homes. Instead, you have to drop your letters into a public mailbox, and the one seen here appears to be a roadside box for the use of the surrounding community.
One question remains, though: Where exactly can this crossover of classic gaming and communications infrastructure be found? Hirauchi has said only that he found it in Okawa, but that answer just raises more questions. See, Okawa literally means “Big River,” a name which, as you can imagine, has been given to numerous places during the largely agrarian history of Japan. A quick Internet search turns up roughly 100 places in Japan called Okawa, so for Nintendo fans wanting to make a pilgrimage to the site shown in Hirauchi’s photo, their quest might be like looking for a needle in a haystack…or a Game Boy in the mountains.
Follow Casey on Twitter, where he laments the missing pixels of his old Game Boy’s screen.