Travel Magazine

An Ignoramus in Japan: Manhole Covers

By Mustachio @mustachio2011
There were so many interesting things to see in Japan. Even the manhole covers! There are over 6000 designs and I have only seen 0.30% of that number! (Some I missed to take a photo of, but I have found photos of them thanks to citizens of the internet world!) Designs usually include the city/town's crest/seal/emblem, official flower/tree, and/or local spots.
TOKYOSpotted in: Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo
This one contains two of Tokyo's symbols: somei-yoshino cherry tree and ginkgo biloba tree.An Ignoramus in Japan: Manhole CoversLet's learn Kanji:
東京 Tokyo 下水道 (gesuido) sewer
合流 (goryu) confluence
And this here is none other than Hachiko!
Saw this by the Hachiko Memorial Statue outside Shibuya Station.An Ignoramus in Japan: Manhole Covers
TOYAMASpotted in: Ainokura Village, Nanto City, Toyama
On this manhole cover are azalea (flower) and paulownia (tree), the symbols of the former village of Taira, to which Ainokura belonged to. In 2004, four towns and four villages (including Taira Village) merged into what is now called Nanto City. This manhole was constructed before the merging. (Thanks to Gokayama Tourist Information Center for providing information about this design! I couldn't find it on any website.)An Ignoramus in Japan: Manhole Covers Let's learn Kanji:排 (hai) drainPhoto by そらみみ via Wikimedia Commons
HYOGOSpotted in: Himeji City, Hyogo
The designs on Himeji City's manhole covers contain the white heron and the orchid Pecteilis radiata (also known as White Egret Flower). These two are symbols of the city.An Ignoramus in Japan: Manhole CoversLet's learn Kana (Kanji and Hiragana):
消火栓 (shokasen) fire hydrant ひめじ Himeji
An Ignoramus in Japan: Manhole CoversLet's learn Hiragana:
ひめじ Himejiおすい (osui) sewage
HIROSHIMASpotted in: Miyajima/Itsukushima, Hiroshima
On the center of this manhole cover in Miyajima is the island's seal/emblem.An Ignoramus in Japan: Manhole CoversLet's learn Kanji:
汚水 (osui) sewagePhoto by そらみみ via Wikimedia CommonsAnd why the maple leaves on this drain cover? Because the maple is Hiroshima prefecture's tree.An Ignoramus in Japan: Manhole CoversLet's learn Kanji:
広島県 (Hiroshima-ken) Hiroshima Prefecture + 木 (ki) tree
OSAKASpotted in: Chuo Ward, Osaka City, Osaka
In this Osaka manhole cover are three elements: Osaka City's seal/emblem, the city's tree (cherry tree), and Osaka Castle.An Ignoramus in Japan: Manhole CoversLet's learn Kanji:
中央区 (Chuo-ku) Chuo Ward
And this one is of some of the city's tourist attractions: Tombori river cruise, Dotonbori Canal, Osaka Castle, and...I don't know what the two buildings are. If you know, please leave a comment.An Ignoramus in Japan: Manhole CoversLet's learn Kanji:
大阪市 (Osaka-shi) Osaka City空気弁 (kuki-ben) air valve水道局 (suidokyoku) Waterworks Bureau
Spotted in: Toyonaka City, Osaka
Toyonaka City's manhole cover has roses (the city's flower) and a crocodile. Because crocs live in the city's sewers! Just kidding! The crocodile is the city's mascot Machikane-wani, named after the huge crocodile fossil discovered in 1964 in Osaka University's Toyonaka campus.An Ignoramus in Japan: Manhole CoversLet's learn Hiragana:
とよなか Toyonaka
WAKAYAMASpotted in: Koya Town, Wakayama
On the center of this manhole cover is Koya Town's emblem.An Ignoramus in Japan: Manhole CoversLet's learn Kanji:
汚水 (osui) sewagePhoto from Japan Visitor
NARASpotted in: Nara City, Nara
Nara is known for its free-roaming deer in Nara Park, thus the deer on the manhole cover. The design also includes the city's flower, yaezakura (a variety of cherry blossom), and the city's emblem in the center.An Ignoramus in Japan: Manhole CoversLet's learn Kanji:
汚水 (osui) sewage
Spotted in: Ikaruga town, Nara
On Ikaruga Town's manhole cover are the Japanese black pine (the town's tree), camellia sasanqua (the town's flower), and Hokkiji (a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in Ikaruga Town).An Ignoramus in Japan: Manhole CoversLet's learn Hiragana:
いかるが Ikarugaげすい (gesui) sewage
An Ignoramus in Japan: Manhole CoversColored version from Muza-chan's Gate to Japan
KYOTOSpotted in: Kyoto City, Kyoto
I saw three different manhole cover designs in Kyoto City. All three have a simple patterned design with Kyoto City's crest on the center.An Ignoramus in Japan: Manhole Covers
Spotted in: Uji City, Kyoto
In Uji City, I spotted two manhole covers that, like Kyoto City's covers, are designed with a pattern surrounding the city's emblem.An Ignoramus in Japan: Manhole Covers
An interesting find was a colorful drain with Japanese globeflowers, Uji City's flower.An Ignoramus in Japan: Manhole CoversLet's learn Kana (Kanji and Hiragana):
市の花 (ichi no hana) City flowerやまぶき (yamabuki) Japanese globeflower
Another interesting find in Uji City was a manhole cover with maple (the city's tree) leaves, and Ujibashi (bridge), one of the most ancient bridges in Japan.
An Ignoramus in Japan: Manhole CoversLet's learn Kanji:宇治市 (Uji-shi) Uji City汚水 (osui) sewage
An Ignoramus in Japan: Manhole CoversLet's learn Kanji:消火栓 (shokasen) fire hydrant
YAMANASHISpotted in: Fujikawaguchiko, Yamanashi
And here's one from my friend, Bunny, who visited Fujikawaguchiko recently. Thanks, Bunny! On this manhole cover are oenothera (the town's flower) and, on the center, the town's symbol.
An Ignoramus in Japan: Manhole CoversLet's learn Hiragana:
おすい (osui) sewage
Have you seen any interesting manhole covers in Japan? Do send me a photo and its location and I will add it in this blogpost. Thank you, fellow drainspotter!
Japan
Know Before You Go
Single Entry Tourist Visa for Japan
Roam Around Japan with a Swagger
An Ignoramus in Japan: Vending Machines
An Ignoramus in Japan: Bathrooms and Toilets
An Ignoramus in Japan: Manhole Covers (you're here!)
From Tokyo to Hiroshima (2015)
10D/9N | Tokyo, Toyama, Kyoto, Hyogo, Osaka, Hiroshima
Tokyo Accommodation: Shinjuku Airbnb
Tokyo: Memorable Tokyo Eats
Tokyo: Odaiba
Tokyo: Doing Touristy Things in Tokyo
Toyama: A Hamlet Called Ainokura
Kyoto Accommodation: K's House Hostel Kyoto
Kyoto, Japanecdote: Wisdom from the Road: On exits #2
Kyoto: By the Thousands (Kyoto Imperial Palace, Sanjusangendo, Fushimi Inari Taisha, Arashiyama Bamboo Grove)
Kyoto, Japanecdote: Turning Japanese
Kyoto: Braving the Crowds at these UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Kyoto (Kiyomizu-dera, Nijo Castle, Kinkakuji)
Hyogo, Japanecdote: If Only I Could Speak Nihongo
Hyogo: Day Trip to Himeji: Himeji Castle and Shoshazan Engyoji Temple
Hyogo, Japanecdote: Am I an Alien?
Hiroshima: Strolling and Snacking in Miyajima
Hiroshima: Remembering the Past in Hiroshima
Osaka, Japanecdote: How to Lose Friends
Osaka Accommodation: Osaka Airbnb
Osaka, Japanecdote: Where is Bentencho Station?
Osaka: Osaka Adlaw, Osaka Ako sa Osaka
Osaka, Japanecdote: Learn From Your Mistakes
Concentrate on Kansai (2016)
UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Kansai Region
Kyoto Accommodations: Guesthouse Wind Villa, Shiori Yado
Osaka Accommodations: Hotel Raizan, Hotel Mikado

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