Drainspotting

Beautiful manhole cover designs in Japan

By Anne Lauenroth    - 1 min read

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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Anne Lauenroth

Anne Lauenroth @anne.lauenroth

German writer, translator and editor with a passion for travel, photography and all things Japanese. More about me and my work on www.allwordz.com and www.floating-worlds.com.