Manhole covers: Ise in Mie prefecture

One of the things that I love most about Japanese culture, is the sense of aesthetics. Beauty in its broadest sense is greatly appreciated in Japan. This emphasis on beauty is apparent in many aspects of daily life. While in the West, emphasis often lies on functionality only, in Japan an effort is made to combine functionality and beauty when designing mundane items of all kinds.

A perfect example of beauty in mundane items, is the design of manhole covers in Japan. Anywhere you turn in Japan, you can find gorgeous manhole covers. The variety is endless. Over time, I made a sport of photographing as many of them as I could. I hope to share some of them with you from to time.

sewer pit cover ise
A beautiful manhole cover in the city of Ise, Mie prefecture
sewer pit cover ise coloured
Sometimes the manhole covers are even painted

For comparison purposes: below you will find a Belgian manhole cover.

Belgian manhole cover
A typical Belgian manhole cover, very unimaginative as you can see. Although I have heard that Germany and Denmark do have nice covers.

22 thoughts on “Manhole covers: Ise in Mie prefecture

Add yours

  1. They wrote about this last year in a newspaper back home in Ireland. My cousin sent me the article and ever since I have been observing manholes and taking photos. Someday I will put them all in a post!
    I really like your blog!

    1. Sometimes you can find different versions of the same manhole cover, in different colors. It’s fun to walk around a town and try to find as many different ones as you can.

  2. I saw some really ornate ones while visiting Germany too! I distinctly remember Köln having the cathedral on some of their man hole covers.

    1. I updated the post after reading your comment. I should be careful not to generalize Belgian things for all the West. Turns out it’s just Belgian covers that are ugly ^_^

  3. I thought it was the opposite! I haven’t quite seen beautiful manholes in Japan but thought that they were beautiful in the Czech Republic. I guess I haven’t traveled enough in my own country…

    1. I can relate, I am the same when it comes to Belgium. That’s why I like hanging out with foreigners. They help me to get to know my own country.

      I wasn’t sure about Tokyo, so I checked my pictures. Turns out I also snapped a manhole cover shot in Tokyo, of a cover with a floral design.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: