SYNOPSIS:  About a curious, wide-spread Japanese phenomenon.


Thanks to Carl who mentioned early on that I should pay attention to the manholes in Japan, I did.  I can’t add anything about the history or origins of the unique and artistic manholes that is not mentioned in the article I am posting below.  Nobody with half an eye could miss the colorful variations of the manholes in Japan after walking around for a bit.  But I know it would have taken me much longer to catch up on this unique phenomenon if Carl had not alerted me to this.  Thanks!  So, I went through Japan always mindful of manholes and I got a few good ones.  Of course, the examples in the article are a lot better than mine. To do these critters justice one should have a consistently elevated view and wait for the sun.  At times I did not, as I did not always have my wide-angled lens with me and I was traveling in the rainy season and a few of those examples are wet.  I also was not sure if I preferred the colored versions of the more pure, iron ones.  Each city usually has both.  The painting schemes are consistent but seem to be done by hand.  I am not sure, but I am giving you a whole slew of all I found.  Enjoy.  Curiously absent were any examples of note in Kyoto.  Did Kyoto not catch on to this trend?


Otherwise, this day was spent as uneventful in transit as these travel days go.

I have now reached the final destination of this trip, going right back to where I started:  Tokyo.

Good night.

2 comments so far

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  1. I love surprises and manhole covers are one of them when they pop up when you least expect them. I have heard about these but never thought to photograph them – our daughter does door knockers when she travels.

    Must tell you about a surprise we experienced yesterday when we visited the new Broad museum at MSU. We had an excellent docent who led us through the exhibits and when we turned one corner, there was a digital version of the tapestry in Bayeaux. I’ll send you some pictures via Iphone but also have a brochure I will tuck in the mail on another exhibit expressing hope in Pakistan.

  2. Yay! Manhole covers are one of the things I have photographed the most on my travels…some of the craziest and most overgrown were in Russia. I’ll show you a book of
    ‘Manhole cover portraits’ I have at my studio. Not exactly why you went to Japan I know.But thanks. Art everywhere.