Japan is full of pretty corners and you will be mesmerised everywhere you look. One of its cities, Kyoto not only decks up its streets, houses, parks, malls, and more, but it also decks up its manhole lids. Did you know that? They have very pretty manhole cover art all over the city. Some represent things related to Japan and Kyoto-like monuments, festivals or important landmarks; others are random things or cartoons. Out of these pretty lids, three of them are on sale as collector’s items! Street manhole covers as art that is on sale? Kyoto happily says YES!
Japan’s Manhole Art Has Been Turned Into Collector’s Items
— Cindy Yan 🌺 (@cindyyan0305) June 20, 2019
In general, sewers are the passage for wastes to reach the wastelands. Kyoto is a city that turned this waste passage’s lid or the covers into very pretty manhole covers. You can make art anywhere and anytime you want to; it is the creativity that counts. Kyoto was right in doing so, it turned basic manhole lids into manhole art. We love to see it, honestly and it does make the street appear prettier.
Love some good manhole cover art. pic.twitter.com/VWdb9CcJGF
— Jason Coskrey (@JCoskrey) October 27, 2023
These intricate manhole art have benefited Japan’s sewer management financially for a very long time. This also serves as a tourist attraction because they are very beautiful and you would end up clicking pictures of the art on the manhole covers. What’s more, is that you may now buy three of these amazing and distinctive manhole arts in Japan.
I do love some good manhole cover art pic.twitter.com/uneDECeLRi
— Jason Coskrey (@JCoskrey) February 1, 2019
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These three are historical and are three decades old, made in the years 1978, 1981 and 1990. These lids weigh up to 90 kg! One of them has a design of a “court carriage” which is a reference to Kyoto being the capital of Japan. The rest two have Kyoto’s emblem at the center. You can have them as a slice or more like a lid of history as collector’s items at your home.
Why Does Japan Have Manhole Art Instead Of Normal Manhole Lids?
— Mildly Interesting (@Mildly_Fun) February 4, 2019
If you have visited Japan ever, you would know that most of its manhole covers are decorated with custom designs. These custom designs might even pay tribute to Japan’s great culture and history. Each city has its specific contributions to these custom designs. This idea of manhole art came into being during the 1980s to promote the modernisation of sewer systems.
Since 1978, cities and towns around Japan have been celebrating their culture and sightseeing spots with this most unique art form: manhole cover art! And of course Kochi is no exception. pic.twitter.com/bRJxoGfZWS
— Visit_KOCHI_Japan (@visit_kochi) November 1, 2021
We might not pay attention to the sewer systems but that is one of the primary reasons how each city in the world is functioning properly. If there were not developed sewer systems then germs would spread which would ultimately make people sick. This is a way that shows sewer is not just about a passage for wastage but that is what keeps the city clean as well.
— Dr. Avneet Randhawa M.D (@DrAvneetR) September 4, 2022
The manhole art of Japan become so popular that people regularly post pictures of these pretty lids all over social media. The country is profiting more from this idea of art because they have merchandise like keychains, tote bags, t-shirts and more showcasing manhole art in Japan.
Would you buy merchandise or would like to buy the manhole art itself?
Cover Image Credits: X/appadappajappa
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