A Manhole Search Through Shinagawa

Find the many cute manhole covers on Shinagawa streets

By Serena Ogawa    - 4 min read

Why don't you have a seeking adventure for cute manhole covers on the road? In Shinagawa City, you may encounter a cute round manhole when you’re walking around. For example, Shinagawa City's official tourism ambassador, Sanrio character, Cinnamoroll manhole.

In Japan, from around the 1980s, manholes with various designs have been introduced in many places. In recent years, it’s become a popular phenomenon for visitors to take pictures or prints of the manhole covers special to each region or city. In Shinagawa too, you can have your own seeking adventure to find these special covers.

These unique covers are special to Japan. So, let's look for the cute manhole covers around Oimachi Station:

Oimachi Sky (Photo: Shinagawa Tourism Association)
Oimachi Sky (Photo: Shinagawa Tourism Association)

Oimachi is located in the center of Shinagawa City. There are three manholes in the station square of Oimachi Station. One is of Sanrio’s Cinnamoroll flying through the sky of Oimachi (Located at Oi 1-chome 3).

Oimachi Illumination (Photo: Shinagawa Tourism Association)
Oimachi Illumination (Photo: Shinagawa Tourism Association)

Another is a manhole designed with the image of the glittering winter Oimachi illuminations (Located at Oi 1-chome 50).

Beach volleyball (Cinnamoroll on left, Beachuu on right) (Photo: Shinagawa Tourism Association)
Beach volleyball (Cinnamoroll on left, Beachuu on right) (Photo: Shinagawa Tourism Association)

In the latest manhole, the characters cheer for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Beachuu and Cinnamoroll, are visiting a summer festival in Oimachi.

Don't forget to get a commemorative manhole card at Shinagawa Tourism Association (These are not currently being distributed).

Shinagawa Bridge (Photo: Shinagawa Tourism Association)
Shinagawa Bridge (Photo: Shinagawa Tourism Association)

Head to the Meguro River area from Oimachi where Shinagawa Bridge is a part of the former Tokaido Road, which connected Tokyo and Kyoto. On this historic bridge, which used to be wooden, a friend of Cinnamoroll, Monjiro is depicted, looking back and saying, "Look, beautiful cherry blossoms are blooming."

Five-a-side football (Yatatama on left, Cinnamoroll on right) (Photo: Shinagawa Tourism Association)
Five-a-side football (Yatatama on left, Cinnamoroll on right) (Photo: Shinagawa Tourism Association)

At Tennozu, where you can enjoy the sea breeze, you'll see a manhole cover with a picture of Yatatama and Cinnamoroll supporting a five-a-side football game (Higashi-Shinagawa 2-chome 5).

Yashio hockey games (Shinakamon on left, Cinnamoroll on right) (Photo: Shinagawa Tourism Association)
Yashio hockey games (Shinakamon on left, Cinnamoroll on right) (Photo: Shinagawa Tourism Association)

Heading south from Tennozu, Yashio is home to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Hockey Stadium. In the immediate vicinity of the stadium, Cinnamoroll is playing hockey with Shinakamon (Located at Yashio 4-chome 1).

Cherry blossoms (Photo: Shinagawa Tourism Association)
Cherry blossoms (Photo: Shinagawa Tourism Association)

Back in the busy town, at Osaki , relax along Meguro River and you will find a manhole cover where Cinnamoroll floats on the blooming cherry trees with birds near Suzukake Bridge (Osaki 1-chome 5).

Musashi-Koyama (Photo: Shinagawa Tourism Association)
Musashi-Koyama (Photo: Shinagawa Tourism Association)

The last manhole cover to find is in Musashi-Koyama, famous for its long shopping street. During the Edo period (1603-1867), Musashi Koyama was famous for its bamboo grove, which was popular for soft, delicious Japanese bamboo shoots that offered a taste of spring. Find manholes where Monjiro is finding bamboo shoots and saying "Wa!" (Wow!) (Koyama 3-chome 27).

This game of hide-and-go-seek is sure to be popular for couples and children. How about walking around town and looking for 'kawaii' characters. For a special photo opportunity, visit Shinagawa City Hall and have your picture taken with their cute Cinnamoroll display. By taking this walk you’ll discover the history and modernity of Shinagawa, and enjoy a trip that touches the city and your heart.

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Serena Ogawa

Serena Ogawa @serena.ogawa

Travel Editor for Japan Travel by day, novel-writing cat lady by night.

Join the discussion

Elena Lisina a month ago
Kawaii desuyo! :)
Sleiman Azizi a month ago
I love Japanese manhole covers, particularly the cast iron ones. Great subject for a book, me thinks.
Elizabeth S a month ago
These manhole covers are cute!

The cast iron manhole covers are gorgeous and say a lot about the pride of a city - landmarks, wildlife, festivals.
Sander van Werkhoven a month ago
Even when these printed ones aren't as nice as the cast manhole covers you see all over Japan, it's still so much nicer than any ugly manhole cover outside of Japan...

OnlyInJapan once did a great video about these: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Ldrk_KlKsg
Kim B a month ago
Thanks for sharing that video link - enjoyed watching it!
Sherilyn Siy a month ago
Leave it to Japan to turn something functional into something cute.