Japanese Manhole Covers

According to the Japan Society of Manhole Covers (yes, that's a thing) there are almost 6000 artistic manhole covers throughout Japan. And according to the group, the largest single category are trees, followed by landscapes, floral designs and birds, all symbols that could, and surely did, boost local appeal.

There are tens-of-thousands of manhile covers in Japan. Here is a small sample of some of the best.

Japan is a country full of amazing art. Some of it is found within museums and galleries while others are right underneath your feet and people walk over it every day.

Japan has a peculiar obsession with manhole covers. Just about anywhere in the country you can find beautiful, stylized manhole covers.

The story gives credit to a high-ranking bureaucrat in the construction ministry who, in 1985, came up with the idea of allowing municipalities to design their own manhole covers.

His idea was to raise awareness for costly sewage projects and make them more palatable for taxpayers. Thanks to a few design contests and publications, the manhole craze took off and municipalities were soon competing with each other to see who could come up with the best designs.