Saturday, 21 January 2017


January 20, 2017

The topic of today's Blog Link Up is Sunrise and Sunset.  There are no Gotochi cards dedicated to the sun of course as it is not a Japanese preserve!  However, there are a few cards that have what looks like a sunrise or a sunset in the background, and it is two of those that I will feature today!

I received this postcard from a friend who used to live in Hyogo Prefecture, on Awaji Island just off the mainland.  I believe that on occasion, she even used this bridge.  This is Akashi Kaikyo Bridge, which is the longest suspension bridge in the world. Wikipedia has a rather informative article about it here.  

This not very attractive bird (in my humble opinion) is the Japanese Crested Ibis, or Toki in Japanese. It is very endangered in Japan, and in fact became extinct.  However, there has been a concerted effort to re-introduce the toki to Sado Island in Niigata Prefecture. Although I have visited Sado Island twice, I'm afraid that I did not see a toki, nor did I visit the Preservation Center.  The Wikipedia article needs to be updated, but you can see more information about this odd bird here.

Thank you for visiting my not-quite-on-topic look at sunrises and sunsets.  I hope that you have enjoyed your time here.  Please visit the other members of the Blog Link Party to see their take on this topic. 

Friday, 20 January 2017

Taiwan Double-Shot

January 10, 2017

Something really interesting happened with these particular cards...I believe they were both sent by the same person...they arrived the same day so I think the sender must have pulled my name twice (in two different accounts) on the same day.  I think it must have been a little sad for her to get the same person in Japan twice in one day!

I'll post them in the order that I registered them and you can see what you think. The cards are friendly enough and that makes me happy as you all know!

"Konnichiwa [I romanized this]

Because you like beautiful view from my city, so I send you this one, hope you like it.  And I like to collect stamps & postcard all over the world, so if you can, please send a card for me.  I will grateful & treasure it, thank you. 😀

Best Wishes & Happy New Year 2017  Winnie"

I don't send reply cards as a general rule.  If someone has said something that touched me or has done a lot of work on their card I'll consider it, but when someone just asks like this...sorry....I don't ask people for reply cards.

The stamp is quite interesting too.  I think it is a kind of coral.

 The second card is short and sweet....

Hello Dear Helen :-D

Happy Postcrossing!!

& Happy New Year


Hope you Nice EveryDay

Winnie (Taiwan)

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Transportation Cards

January 14, 2017

This edition of the Linky Blog Party is about Transportation.  There are many types of transportation available in Japan, but today I'll feature a few that are on Gotochi Cards.

Lake Kasumigaura in Ibaraki Prefecture features some interesting boats called Hobikisen.  They revolutionized the local fishing trade, which before the invention of this boat was a group activity.  With the Hobikisen, fishing became an individual activity.  I don't have a lot of knowledge about this boat, but this link leads to a rather informative article from The Japan Times that might be of interest.

Lake Ashi in Kanagawa has Pirate Ships! These are tourist boats that cruise up and down the lake with Mt. Fuji in the background.  I have been unable to find any English history about them, but this website has some information about the tours and the cruises.

Saga City in Saga Prefecture is host to one of the largest Hot Air Balloon Festivals in the world.  This festival has grown from humble beginnings. Wikipedia has a short article on this Fiesta, and a link to the English website.  

Sad to say, but this is all that I have time for tonight.  I hope you have enjoyed the Gotochi Cards that I have posted tonight.  Please check out the other members of the Blog Linky Party to see more great postcards from all over the world.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Russia - Food

December 22, 2016

This is the last Postcrossing card that I received in 2016!

It came from Elena in Russia and looks incredibly delicious.  I love raspberries and they are hard to find in Japan.  There is a gorgeous stamp on the back too as you will see later on.

Elena wrote,

"Dear Helen,
My name is Elena. I'm 38 y.o. for last 10 years!  I've been living in Moscow,  Russia.  Originally I'm from the Far East of Russia - Khabarousk City, much closer to Japan than Moscow.

I love skiing in Alps and have very beautiful hobby--historical reconstruction of Viking Period (9 centuries).  I dream to visit Japan.

Regards, Elena"

Raspberry Dessert - Photo by Daria Norkina
 There were actually 3 stamps of the denomination of 10p. but I didn't want to show Elena's handwriting on the card, so I cropped one out.  Sorry. It's a common stamp.  The other one, the big yellow stamp is very cool, like many Russian stamps.  It looks like someone on a throne, and the frame and the artwork inside the frame are slightly raised, so the whole thing has texture.  It's rather amazing.

And with this post, 2016 rests....for the most part!

Saturday, 7 January 2017


January 7, 2017

I'm back, after a bit of a break.  New Year in Japan is A VERY BIG DEAL, although we celebrated in a very low key fashion here in my corner of the world.  I haven't received any postcrossing cards in a while which explains why I haven't posted much recently.

The topic of today's Blog Linky Party is Trains and Trams.  Many people in Japan are fascinated by trains, and here in Japan they are rather wonderful.  Despite being a big fan of movies like Murder on the Orient Express or Narrow Margin that take place in or on trains, I'm not terribly interested in trains except as a method of travelling.

I have two Gotochi cards for you today.  One of them was featured earlier when we looked at cards with Lighthouses on them, but I don't think I have shown off the other one.  There is at least one more  regular Gotochi card with a train on it, but I don't have it.

As I stated before, this card represents the Choshi Electric Railway Line, which is only 6.4 km long. A rather interesting fact about the company that runs this Railway Line is that to supplement their income, they started to sell senbei (a Japanese rice cracker) Interestingly, the senbei are so popular now that the company makes double the amount selling the crackers that they do on the railway line!

Wikipedia gives a good overview of the company and the history of the rail line, so do have a look at it if you are interested in learning more about this train line in Chiba.

The card below features the Enoden or the Enoshima Electric Railway.  This train line is another private train line that runs between Kamakura Station and Fujisawa Station.  I'm not completely sure, but I may have ridden on this train when I visited Kamakura one year, a very long time ago.  The train track is single, but some stations have double tracks which allows trains to run in both directions.  

The Japan Post Office has also created Gotochi cards for train lovers.  I have found examples of the cards for my readers and am listing them below.

These are special sets of Gotochi Cards.  I do not collect them personally, so have little information about them. 

JR East Bullet Train -Interestingly, this series features bullet trains that can be seen in Tohoku, the part of Japan that I live in.  However, my city is not on a Shinkansen Line, so I hardly ever ride these trains.  

The POSTA COLLECT "News" page.  To find these cards that I have linked to, I had to scroll down quite far.  There may be more train cards of interest if you follow the links on the page.

Thank you for visiting my Trains Link up.  I hope you have enjoyed this look at Gotochi Cards and trains.  Please visit the other bloggers to see their take on Trains and Trams.  


Friday, 30 December 2016


December 13, 2016

If this card looks familiar, it is because it was featured on this blog before as part of a Winter Holiday celebration.  However, I wasn't able to tell the whole story of this card there.

Debora sent this very short card to me with a lovely stamp and a friendly message on the back. She wrote,
"Hi Helen!
Greetings for the cold Sweden! I'm Debora and live in Uppsala for 3 years.  The city is full of students because of its famous university.  Here I live a very calm life, cycling around and enjoying the swom[I am not sure what she meant to say here] of this time of the year!
All the best to you!"

Merry Christmas
Happy New Year

In my Postcrossing Profile, I talk about celebrating the battle scars that cards receive on the way to me, and I do.  There is something special about a card that is ripped or notched or damaged in some way, that still arrives in my mail box.  This card was a prime example of that!

There was even an attached "ribbon" of a sort, a message from the Japanese Post Office.  Basically it is an apology for the damaged card and I believe a message that they taped the card. Generally, I admire the Post Office here very much (except when they send me other people's post cards just because they are written in English!!)

 This is the very beautiful stamp that was on the post card.  It is quite large and very clear!

Thursday, 29 December 2016

Belarus - Coffee (or Tea!)

December 12, 2016

This card came from Belarus with a nice note on the back from Lera.

She wrote,
"Hello Hellen!
Greetings from Minsk!
My name is Lera, I'm 20 and I learn English and Chinese, I'd like to become an interpreter in future and travel a lot.  I like sweets and all sweet things :-D
Xmas is coming, so I wish you all the best and a Happy New Year too!
Take care"