Japan's Awesome Manhole Covers

Japan is a place where you can collect a plethora of things. However, did you know that there's something that you can collect without hurting your travel budget? 

Japan's Awesome Manhole Covers

This collection is none other than Japan's Awesome Manhole Covers

I know some of you might probably be raising your eyebrows right now and some are probably asking themselves "How on Earth would I bring one home when I only have 50kgs baggage allowance?". 

Team Nicerio in Osaka City

Well, before you continue reading, if you're not into manhole covers you can move on and read other articles in my blog. As for the question - worry not dear reader, you won't be carrying one home. 

To "collect" these colorful and intricately designed covers, one would only need a few things. First, an ever-attentive eye, a camera, and your sharp unerring skill of remembering place names. If you have these, then you can be part of the continuously growing group of amazing hobbyists called "drainspotters". 

Team Nicerio in Kumatori

To be a legit "drainspotter", one has to first know his collection, in this case, it is the Japanese マンホールの蓋 which reads manhoru no futa or simply manhole covers. These manhole covers are intricately and sometimes colorfully designed. Each city and town in the country has its own unique design which either showcases well-known landmarks, animals, festivals, mascots, cultural items, or flora and fauna of the place. If you're lucky, you'll find newly installed and painted manhole covers. This makes the manhole cover designs look more like an art piece than a utility hole cover. 

To motivate you, here is my collection of Japanese manhole covers from my 2014-2015, 20182019, and 2021 adventures. 

*This article does not include Pokemon Manhole Covers.

My Japanese manhole cover collection



Izumisano City

Kumatori - Jumpson

Osaka City

Kaizuka City

Kumatori Special Anniversary manhole cover 1
Kumatori Special Anniversary manhole cover 1

Kumatori Special Anniversary manhole cover 2
Kumatori Special Anniversary manhole cover 2

Kumatori Special Anniversary manhole cover 3
Kumatori Special Anniversary manhole cover 3

Kumatori Special Anniversary manhole cover 4
Kumatori Special Anniversary manhole cover 4

Kumatori Special Anniversary manhole cover 5
Kumatori Special Anniversary manhole cover 5

Osaka City Expo 2025 manhole cover
Osaka City Expo 2025 manhole cover

Sakai City 1
Sakai City 1

Sakai City 2
Sakai City 2

Sakai City
Sakai City 3


Kyoto City


Kobe City


Ise City


Nara City

Nara City II


Wakayama City

Wakayama City II


Gifu City


Takayama City

Okuhida Onsen Village


Hiroshima City manhole cover
Hiroshima City

Hatsukaichi manhole cover
Hatsukaichi City 1

Hatsukaichi City manhole cover 2
Hatsukaichi City 2

Miyajima Island manhole cover
Miyajima Island / Itsukushima Island


Kurashiki City manhole cover 1
Kurashiki City 1

Kurashiki City manhole cover 2
Kurashiki City 2


Tokyo City


Imabari City manhole cover
Imabari City



Rumoi City - Kazumo-chan

Asahikawa City

Mitsuishi - (a former town in Hokkaido) inside Rishiriya Minoya, Otaru City

Rishiri - inside Rishiriya Minoya, Otaru City

Toyotomi manhole cover

Haboro manhole cover

Teshio manhole cover

Mashike manhole cover

Takikawa City manhole cover
Takikawa City

Otaru City manhole cover
Otaru City

Chitose City manhole cover
Chitose City

Shintotsukawa manhole cover

Rumoi City manhole cover 2
Rumoi City 2

Urausu manhole cover

Naie manhole cover

Utashinai City manhole cover
Utashinai City

Akabira City manhole cover
Akabira City

Sunagawa City manhole cover
Sunagawa City

Toma manhole cover

Maruseppu manhole cover
Maruseppu (Engaru)

Bifuka manhole cover 1
Bifuka 1

Bifuka manhole cover 2
Bifuka 2

Furen (Nayoro City) manhole cover
Furen (Nayoro City)

Kembuchi manhole cover 1
Kembuchi 1

Kembuchi manhole cover 2
Kembuchi 2

Shibetsu City manhole cover 1
Shibetsu City 1

Shibetsu City manhole cover 2
Shibetsu City 2

Wassamu manhole cover

Abira manhole cover
Abira 1

Abira manhole cover 2
Abira 2

Abira manhole cover 3
Abira 3

Abira manhole cover 4
Abira 4

Naganuma manhole cover

Tomakomai manhole cover
Tomakomai City

Noboribetsu City 1
Noboribetsu City 1

Noboribetsu City 2
Noboribetsu City 2

Noboribetsu City 3
Noboribetsu City 3

Shiraoi, Hokkaido

Chitose City
Chitose City

*If you want to see a more detailed list of my photos of Hokkaido's manholes, you should check this article: Hokkaido Manhole Covers

To date, I have seen and photographed more than 50 unique manhole cover designs all around Japan. This simply means that if I manage to collect all designs, I have also visited every corner of the country (which no one has accomplished so far) so good luck with our journey of becoming the first drainspotter to "collect" all of Japan's manhole covers!



  1. These are beautiful manhole covers. I'm collecting them as well. I haven't been to Hokkaido and I'm thrilled to look for the manholes that you shared.

    1. Please check out my new article about the Hokkaido manhole covers. I update it regularly. You might be interested with the designs and where to find them.


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