Japanese art: Manhole covers

When you walk down the streets in Japan, you may find yourself stepping on a piece of art. Where is that art? On manhole covers! This may seem like a very bizarre place to find it, but in Japan it is very common.

Japanese manhole cover designs are unique to the locality and utility of the community. The designs may depict famous historical buildings, plants, animals, story scenes, and even cartoon characters. Whatever is famous in that area is likely going to be featured on the manhole covers.
There is a cult interest in taking pictures of these covers, and some online galleries have hundreds of photos.

So when you are walking around Japan admiring all the sights, take a minute to look down at your feet and see what hidden treasure may be there.

An extensive and well organized Japanese manhole cover gallery (Mainly in Japanese)
A flickr group pool of manhole cover photographs
Another manhole cover gallery
One more manhole cover gallery


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