16 Japanese Manhole Covers That Are Absolute Works of Art

Photo Credit: Tokyu Hands

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?

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

2. Colorful balls

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

3. Water bugs!

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

4. Puffer fish!

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

5. Cherry blossoms!

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

6. The fire department!

Photo Credit: Flickr/Ishikawa Ken

7. Up, up and away!

Photo Credit: Max Pixel

8. Land of the rising sun

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

9. More cherry blossoms!

Photo Credit: Flickr/Elena

10. I’m not quite sure, but they’re cool!

Photo Credit: Photozu.jp

11. Amazing architecture

Photo Credit: Flickr/Daiju Azuma

12. Fun little firefighters!

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

13. A gorgeous peek into nature

Photo Credit: Flickr/coniferconifer

14. Squids!

Photo Credit: Flickr/Photocapy

15. Yokohama bridge!

Photo Credit: Pixabay

16. Fruit and birds and pine cones. Ahhh, nature.

Photo Credit: Flickr/generalec

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.

Photo Credit: Tokyu Hands

Okay, who wants to go to Japan and check out some manhole covers with me?

Any takers?!?