There are many sights to see when visiting Japan. And while Mount Fuji, Tokyo Tower, and Kyoto are likely at the top of many people’s lists, there are many niche things to enjoy as well. One of them requires you to look down when you walk. Since 1980, Japan has had a tradition of decorating manhole covers as a way to encourage local tourism. Ranging from colorful florals to animals and pop culture references, these designs are public works of art.
YouTube channel Process X shared a mini-documentary about how these manhole covers are made at the Hinode Water Equipment Co. factory. Each one is a result of melting pieces of scrap metal into a circular shape and then meticulously adding paint by hand to achieve a stunning effect. When placed on streets, the colorful touches transform the industrial feature into something beautiful to behold.
All across Japan, you can find a diverse array of manhole covers belonging to different municipalities. Some of the most popular designs feature Mount Fuji and Himeji Castle; however, there are many others, too. Some of the most recent additions feature Pokémon characters. Prefectures carefully choose a Pocket Monster that best represents their area's qualities.
Scroll down to see more colorful manhole designs.
Since 1980, Japan has had a tradition of decorating manhole covers.
They add colorful works of art to these functional metal surfaces.
The designs range from flora to animals to Pokémon characters.
Japanese Manhole Covers: Flickr