The wacky, wonderful world of Japanese manhole cover art

Ever roll through some sleepy burg and notice the townsfolk have painted each fire hydrant, recycling bin or park bench as its own work of art? That's one thing... but how about a whole country? Only in Japan, where the same famously zany locals fascinated with sailor costumes and neon lights on dump trucks have done it yet again. Only this time, their attention has shifted to manhole covers. Yes, manhole covers.
We don't know anything about this fad, how it began or how pervasive it is – we'd be glad to hear from you in our comment section below if you do – but from the look of the pinpointed map available at the link, it seems the craft has grown quite pervasive across the whimsical island nation. Check out a slew of our favorite examples in the gallery below, and try not to wonder how the artists didn't get run down by oncoming traffic while painstakingly completing their masterpieces.


Share This Photo X