Sometimes when you’re in a country like Japan, your sense can get overwhelmed by all of the fascinating sights. Beauty lurks around every corner, so it’s completely understandable if you don’t happen to look down and take notice of what’s right underneath your feet.
We’re talking about Japan’s gorgeous, intricately designed manhole covers. What began as a public relations campaign for sewers conceived by Japanese civil servant Yasutake Kameda in 1985 has blossomed into a legit cultural phenomenon.
Check out these 16 beautiful manhole covers and wonder, “Why can’t we do this here?!”
1. Did somebody say baseball?
2. Colorful balls
3. Water bugs!
4. Puffer fish!
5. Cherry blossoms!
6. The fire department!
7. Up, up and away!
8. Land of the rising sun
9. More cherry blossoms!
10. I’m not quite sure, but they’re cool!
11. Amazing architecture
12. Fun little firefighters!
13. A gorgeous peek into nature
15. Yokohama bridge!
16. Fruit and birds and pine cones. Ahhh, nature.
Since Japan wouldn’t be Japan unless they totally obsessed over the manhole covers, there are even “manhole festivals” held in Tokyo that feature replica covers, trading cards and much more!
In fact, you can buy those replicas at retailers like Tokyu Hands, located in central Shinjuku.
Okay, who wants to go to Japan and check out some manhole covers with me?