Japanese Manhole Covers
Japanese Manhole Covers マンホール蓋
Japanese manhole covers come in a variety of designs depending on locality, utility type and the manufacturer of the manhole cover. They have caught the imagination of a growing number of self-styled "drainspotters" from around the world
A kawaii ("cute") fire hydrant manhole cover in Yokosuka, Japan
A quick search on Google reveals the increasing number of tribute sites and the popularity of the cult of the Japanese manhole. There is even a Japanese Society of Manhole Covers (日本マンホール蓋学会) with their own website (in Japanese) listing many of Japan's estimated 6,000 different kinds of manhole cover.
Japan's manhole covers often include a symbol specific to an area or town as part of their design. In Kyoto, a turtle (a symbol of wisdom and longevity) is the main motif; in addition local landmarks, people, festivals or flora and fauna can all be incorporated into these underfoot works of art. Trees are the most common design, followed by landscapes and flowers.
If you have a manhole cover shot and wish to have it displayed on this page, please contact us. If you wish to read more about manhole covers in Japan a useful book is Drainspotting: Japanese Manhole Covers by Reno Camerota.
JapanVisitor has over 10 pages of manholes in a growing collection. Click through the links at the bottom of the page
Saijo Hiroshima manhole
Combined sewage system manhole cover, Minato ward, Tokyo
Decorative manhole cover, Chuo ward, Tokyo
Fire extinguisher manhole cover, Minato ward, Tokyo
Manhole cover, Minato ward, Tokyo
Domestic water supply manhole cover, Minato ward, Tokyo
Combined sewer system manhole cover, Minato ward, Tokyo
Fire emergency manhole cover, Minato ward, Tokyo
NTT telecommunications manhole cover, Minato ward, Tokyo
Electricity manhole cover for high-tension current lines, featuring Yoshino cherry blossom, the flower of Tokyo; in Ueno Park
Nagoya manhole cover, Tenpaku ward, Nagoya
Nisshin sewage system manhole cover, Nisshin near Nagoya
Nagoya sewage system manhole cover, Tenpaku ward, Nagoya
Water manhole cover, Sakurae Town, Shimane
Nagoya Fire Services manhole cover, Naka ward, Nagoya
Nagoya manhole cover, Naka ward, Nagoya
Kyoto manhole cover, Kita ward, Kyoto
Izumo city manhole cover for waste water, Shimane Prefecture
Izumo Taisha manhole cover, Shimane Prefecture
Hiroshima manhole cover, Hiroshima Prefecture
Kamakura manhole cover, Kanagawa Prefecture
Kamakura fire hydrant manhole cover, Kanagawa Prefecture
Bunkyo ward rainwater drainage manhole cover, Tokyo
Related Japan Manhole Cover Links
Japanese manhole covers, which come in a variety of designs depending on locality, utility type and the manufacturer of the manhole cover, have caught the imagination of a growing number of drainspotters from around the world.