Japanese are natural-born artists and they typically apply their artistic skills on almost everything. From a single sheet of paper to a vast rice field, there’s certainly no limit to Japan’s creativity. Only Japanese people can turn virtually anything into impressive masterpieces. And seriously, where can you find a country that reveres manholes so much that they turn them into works of art? Yes, only Japan does that. The practice of making artistic manhole covers began in the 1980s. Municipalities decided to design manhole covers to illustrate their own unique cultures and individuality. It later became a tradition wherein all 1,719 municipalities come in unity to show off their own manhole cover designs.
To commemorate this Japanese custom, the Japanese Manhole Cover Festival was being held for the first time. The 3-day festival took place in Tokyo. From February 1 to February 3, attendees participated in fun-filled activities to pay tribute to the tradition. For three days, the Shinjuku Takashimaya department store exhibited a great collection of the most artistic manhole covers in Japan. In a nearby department store, the Tokyu Hands Shinjuku sold collectibles to celebrate the most beautiful manhole covers in the world. There was a wide range of limited edition collectibles such as stickers, books, pencils, and small versions of the famous manhole covers.
All municipalities in Japan showcase their own local cultures by designing artistic manhole covers
Additionally, citizens and tourists also got to taste cookies, macaroons, and other sweets. But these are not just any ordinary snacks. These special treats are especially designed after the most iconic manhole covers in the country.
The Japanese Manhole Cover Festival also features cookies and sweets that are designed after most famous manhole covers
If you miss the event in Tokyo, you can grab a copy of Drainspotting by Remo Camerota. This book features both the classic and modern manhole cover designs brought about by the Japanese tradition. But if you really want to see the artistic manhole covers up close, you can still visit Japan anytime. Those beautiful, colorful and artistic manhole covers aren’t going anywhere.