Tourism Manholes Have a Long History in Japan
posted on by Kim Morrissy
"Manhole spotting" is becoming a popular hobby in Japan, as various cities and prefectures put out manholes with unique art and designs in order to amp up local tourism. Examples of this include the Love Live! Sunshine!! manholes in Numazu, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable manholes in Sendai, and Pokémon manholes in Iwate Prefecture.
According to the Japan Waterworks Newspaper, these custom-designed manholes have a long history in Japan, dating back to 1977, when Naha City in the Okinawa Prefecture installed its own unique manholes. This prompted cities from around the country to adopt unique designs. In December 1986, the Japan Sewage Works Association held a review of 1,000 manhole cover designs and selected 20 of them for use.
Most custom manhole designs have had a floral, tree, or island theme. These days, however, anime-themed manholes have been gaining popularity. The Japan Waterworks Newspaper cited the Eevee manholes in Ibusuki, the Galaxy Express 999 manholes in Kyushu as examples of anime manholes that have been attracting attention lately.
The newspaper also mentioned that cards showcasing the designs of various manholes. There are currently 539 unique cards in total. These cards are distributed by sewage-related institutions and local governments.
Source: Yahoo! News