In Japan, manhole covers don’t simply exist to prevent people or things from falling into utility vaults. Many towns and municipalities have their own unique cover designs linked to local sights – from deer in Nara to Osaka's famous castle. Little, mundane works of arts, they are ignored and stepped upon on a daily basis. But the often colorfully painted manholes are known to have drawn crowds of “drainspotters”, obsessed with collecting pictures of the estimated 6,000 different manhole cover designs in Japan.
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