What is XXX like in Japan? (1) -Maintenance Hole Covers

Hi, it’s Mee-wa! How is everyone doing?

Have you ever seen a Japanese maintenance hole (or manhole) cover?

You would probably NEVER see such a thing in tourist guidebooks, but its world is very deep and really funny, I think.

The cover designs of maintenance holes in Japan differ between cities, prefectures, or areas. Of course, they have a “standard” design for maintenance holes, but many cities and prefectures have their own regional designs.

Most of them are designed with motifs of the symbol of the city or prefecture, such as sightseeing spots, flowers, trees, etc.

Maintenance Hole Covers in the Town of “Sawara” (Chiba Prefecture)

Maintenance Hole Cover in the City of “Nagareyama” (Chiba Prefecture)

Maintenance Hole Covers in the City of “Matsudo” (Chiba Prefecture)

In these pictures, there is a small boat crossing the Edo River, which runs between Chiba Prefecture and Tokyo. This boat really exists, even now, and it is called “Yagiri-no Watashi.”

The picture above is a “maintenance hole” card, which is issued by the local government. Collecting the “maintenance hole cover cards” may be really maniac, unlike collecting “Pokemon” cards!

In this photo, you can see a “koala” climbing a eucalyptus tree.

Eucalyptus is the symbol tree in Matsudo City, which has a sister-city relationship with Whitehorse City in Australia. That’s why it has adopted the symbol of a koala in Australia.

I had not been interested in maintenance hole covers so much before I decided to write this article.

Even when I am watching TV, and when I see a road or street, I just cannot help looking for a maintenance hole!

But I didn’t know just until yesterday that there is Koala’s maintenance hole cover right in front of my house!!!
It is really surprising that I have lived here more than 4 years now, and I had never even looked at it until yesterday!

It’s hard to see what is under your nose?