They say true beauty is a rare thing, but when it comes to manhole covers in Japan, these little gems are absolutely everywhere. Traditional-looking and ornate they may be, but these decorative beauties actually began popping up in the 1980’s. Depending on which region of Japan you’re in, the imagery and symbols will change, but the general style and colour palette remains. Not bad for something that, in all fairness, covers up faeces and gets walked on all day.
Amusing Planet writes that “The art of manhole covers has now reached the point of a national obsession in Japan…The city or council will submit ideas and the symbol of choice to the foundry and their in-house designers will then create a design based on these specifications, going back and forth until the design is approved.”