Manhole covers are trending high in Japan and for good reason — they’re stunning! Only in Japan are manholes to cover sewage designed so beautifully that they now make MANHOLE TRADING CARDS! (Travel around Japan and collect them all. They’re free!) The craze is real, folks. There’s even a new word for manhole enthusiasts: MANHOLERS
In this episode, John travels around the country as a manholer in search of Japan’s best designs. He also visits Nagashima Imono Casting Factory where manhole covers are made and finds out why they have designs and are painted. He also visits the Manhole Summit for the latest news and designs.

★ They were a way after WWII (World War 2) for Japan to spread the importance of its new sewer system project.
★ Okinawa (Naha city) was the first designed manhole in 1977. It had fish on it.
★ Now 95 % of all municipalities in Japan have customized manhole covers.
★ There are over 12,000 designs around Japan!
★ Manhole covers are sometimes painted for commemorative covers or for inside areas without vehicles like shopping arcades and parks. The paint used is a top secret mixture.
★ Designs represent local culture, history, mascots or sports teams: things citizens are proud of. About Manhole Cards: The cards are free and you have to physically go to each location to get one.

It’s first come, first serve.
Where To get the cards?
Here is a list of the distribution locations around Japan translated into English:…

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URL: (Book) Manhole: Japanese culture and history represented by the design / マンホール:意匠があらわす日本の文化と歴史 By Hidetoshi Ishii 石井英俊
Nagashima Casting 長島鋳物
Manhole Summit (held annually in January)
“We Distribute Manhole Card” Kitami City, Hokkaido….