a collection of manhole cover art

Manhole Cover Art is quite a thing in Japan. There are now over 6,000 different manhole covers in the country! The manhole cover, just like almost everything else in Japan, has become a work of art and a source of pride for many cities. I didn’t really know this during our trip, as the idea for looking down for these “unique to each city” pieces of art was introduced to my by my dear friend , Mitch. But I am so thankful we took the time to be on the lookout for these pieces of art most people will just walk right past.

Here is an excellent article on the subject I found that gives some good information on the art: Street art: Japanese Manhole Covers.

In my pictorial collection here, I must note that many of the covers are not of the “Artistic” variety, but being so unique compared to the ones here in the States, I still found them interesting and wanted to capture/share those too.

This first grouping of manhole covers are in Tokyo. The Sakura flower is incorporated in some of the designs for the larger covers. Tokyo definitely had more basic designs and patterns compared to the other cities.

This group of covers come from the Kyoto, Osaka and Harakata prefectures and become much more interesting and creative.

Beppu, hands down, had the largest variety of designs and the most colorful and creative!