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Popular "Airpost" Letter Exchange for Waiting Passengers at Fukuoka Airport

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AIRPORT's poster design

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The Airpost letter exchange at Fukuoka Airport in Fukuoka, Fukuoka Prefecture that ran from December 27 through January 16 was a big hit.

The Machi Jikan Project (meaning "Waiting Time Project"), a local student organization whose goal is urban development by making use of "waiting time," collaborated with the airport operator, Fukuoka Airport Building Co., Ltd., to run the letter exchange. Travelers waiting to board their departing flights wrote letters to be read later by an unknown person. They then posted the letters onto the Airport board in the international terminal's third-floor departures lobby in exchange for a letter written by someone else. This way, travelers could meet new people who passed through the airport by exchanging written messages with them.

According to a Fukuoka Airport Building publicist, the Airpost was popular among travelers in the airport, with nearly 700 notes (offered free of charge) used. In addition to messages in Japanese about people's travels, the board received numerous letters written in Chinese, Korean and other languages.

Similar events to the Machi Jikan Project are being run in Fukuoka and elsewhere to encourage people to interact during waiting times and change urban areas for the better. This is the first time for the Machi Jikan Project to run an event at Fukuoka Airport. "The terminal operator's mission is to make waiting times for travelers in the airport comfortable," said the publicist. "We hope to plan more projects that provide opportunities for real human interaction through non-digital means."

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