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The Beautiful Manhole Cover Art of Japan

Ichinomiya Aichi manhole cover

In 95% of Japan’s 1,780 municipalities you will find artistic manhole covers unique to each city and town. It has become apart of the country’s national culture and it’s fascinating to see the different designs and styles that each town and city has chosen to represent them. With over 6,000 manhole cover artworks, it’s no surprise that spotting and photographing them has become a hobby for many.

Apparently all manhole covers are forged in Nagashima Foundry from carved master plates that have all been preserved in a central library. To learn more about the amazing manhole cover art of Japan there’s plenty of resources: there’s a Japanese website with locations and information; a book called ‘Drainspotting‘; a Flickr group with several thousand images; and a wonderful individual collection by S Morito (MRSY on Flickr) with over 352 different manhole covers.

Random factoid: Manhole covers are round so the covers can never accidentally fall inside. Brilliant!

1. Osaka

Osaka pref manhole cover2 ????????????

2. Osaka City

Osaka city,Osaka pref manhole cover??????????????

3. Takamatsu Kagawa

Takamatsu Kagawa manhole cover??????????????

4. Kinosaki Town

Kinosaki town, Hyogo pref manhole cover??????????????

5. Kadoma City

Kadoma city, Osaka pref manhole cover??????????????

6. Kishiwada City

Kishiwada city, Osaka pref manhole cover???????????????

7. Yakage Okayama

Yakage Okayama manhole cover??????????????

8. Ichinomiya Town

Ichinomiya town,Aichi pref manhole cover2???????????????

9. Izumisno City

Izumisno city Osaka pref manhole cover????????????????

10. Ibaraki City

Ibaraki city, Osaka pref manhole cover??????????????

11. Yamatokoriyama Nara

Yamatokoriyama Nara manhole cover ????????????????

12. Takahama Fukui

Takahama Fukui manhole cover ??????????????

13. Ikoma Nara

Ikoma Nara manhole cover 2???????????????

14. Kuwana Mie

Kuwana Mie manhole cover ??????????????

15. Daito City

Daito city, Osaka pref manhole cover??????????????

16. Kishiwada City

Kishiwada city, Osaka pref manhole cover 2????????????????

17. Izumi Osaka

Izumi Osaka manhole cover 2 ???????????????

18. Yasugi City

Yasugi city, Shimane pref manhole cover??????????????

19. Matsue Shimane

Matsue Shimane,manhole cover??????????????

20. Ogaka Gifu

Ogaki Gifu manhole cover ??????????????

21. Ikaruga Town

Ikaruga town, Nara pref manhole cover??????????????


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