What's up with the pretty designs on manhole covers in Japan?
It all started in the 1980s... To raise acceptance of costly public works, sewers being mostly underground and largely underappreciated, Yasutake Kameda thought the one part that is visible — the manhole covers on the surface — ought to be more attractive. In particular, he encouraged cities, towns and villages around Japan to develop designs with local appeal.
A custom design only costs about 5% more than an off the rack cover.
This design is Inuyama Castle(one of 4 castles designated as Japan's national treasures) and traditional cormorant fishing on the Kist river.
This manhole cover is from Gujyo Hachman City. Must be some good fishing in the mountain streams around here.
A good design will use multi directional patterns and lines to help prevent tires from slipping during wet weather. Some cities added color to make the covers more attractive and attract tourists.
Manhole Cover Mania (one of Japans newest hobbies) is gaining more followers every day. So on your next visit to Japan, don't forget to take a snapshot of some unique art... Japan's Manhole covers.