One of the most trusted and important public services, Japan Post has been around for exactly 150 years now. That anniversary coincides with Japan hosting the International Stamp Exhibition for the 6th time — the PHILANIPPON 2021. The theme this time is “Celebrating 150 years of service today. Delivering new value tomorrow.” They say that their goal is “popularizing postal service and stamp collecting in Japan while pursuing cultural exchange and international friendship.”

An event held only every ten years, this philatelic exhibition is a rare opportunity to see world-class stamp collections, including the Japan Imperial stamp collection, the first Japanese stamp, Olympic stamps through history and so much more. From vintage mailboxes to high-tech postcard-making booths, and from official philatelic collections to Pokémon collabs, it is poised to be an event for everyone.

Philanippon 2021 pokemon stamps

A collection of Pokemon-themed stamps

Unique Stamp Collections at the PHILANIPPON 2021

The postal service and stamps are naturally different around the world, but not without their uniting similarities. Stamps in particular tend to have diverse and elegant designs showing what countries are proudest of, or marking important events.

H.I.H Princess Takamado being the honorary president of PHILANIPPON 2021, it comes as no surprise that one of the most exciting opportunities will be seeing the Imperial stamp collection. In it, visitors will be able to see the princess’s own collection of British stamps, as well as rare gems such as the Commemorative Stamp of the Wedding of Crown Prince Hirohito, canceled due to the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923.

The exhibits will also look back through Japan Post’s 150 years starting from Japan’s first stamp called “Ryumon-kitte”. Looking forward, there will be a selection of new and exciting stamps from around the world. In line with this year, there will be Olympics and Paralympics-related stamps shown, spanning the time from the first Athens Games to the 32nd Games in Tokyo.

There will also be stamp collections by theme — music, plants, animals, paintings, trains and others. All in all, around 260 countries will be represented in the stamp exhibits.

Finally, here you can also see the special new stamp in commemoration of PHILANIPPON 2021, released on August 3, 2021.

Fun For the Whole Family

This exhibition invites us to peek behind the scenes of the post office as we know it. You can learn about stamp manufacturers, post boxes and postal vehicles through the years and the leaps in technology. A retro postal vehicle is set to be a popular photo op at the PHILANIPPON 2021. A step further, you can become a postal worker for a bit. Generally aimed at children, there will be a corner when you can try activities such as stamping and sorting mail.

Japan Post old van

The retro postal vehicle that will be exhibited at PHILANIPPON 2021

Children will be delighted by the Pokémon booth, a special collaboration of Japan Post and Pokémon.

Other activities include a treasure hunt quiz around the venue, making your own personalized stamp, and sending a letter to yourself that will travel somewhere in Japan before you get it. The most high-tech offering is the Voice Postcard. This booth helps you create a unique postcard by recording and analyzing your voice. The tone of your voice determines the color, font, and shape of the postcard.

Finally, you can browse the stationery on offer from popular brands to Japan Post’s own unique items. From handmade glass pens to centuries-old washi paper, it’ll be every stationery otaku’s paradise.

Philanippon 2021

Special exhibits of 150th Anniversary of the Postal Service


Where: Pacifico Yokohama Exhibition Hall 1-1-1 Minatomirai, Nishi-ku, Yokohama
When: Aug 25—Aug 30 | 10am—6pm (last day of the exhibition will close earlier, at 3pm)

Admission to the exhibition is free.
Pre-registration is required for visiting the exhibition. You can fill in the form here.

The event organizers are working to ensure Covid-19 measures are in place to lower the infection risk. They will implement standard protocols such as temperature measuring, mask-wearing, and limiting the number of visitors at a given time and day.

For more details, check the PHILANIPPON 2021 Official website.

Top image: Special stamp “The PHILANIPPON 2021”

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