Manhole Covers: Japanese and Australian Translations

In Japan, they have manhole covers as street art. This one was photographed one evening on the way to dinner at Amataro, when our Tokyo friends pointed down to our feet and yelled out, “Manhoru no Futa!” (manhole cover)

We learnt that they come in a variety of designs and colours, depicting localities, utility type and manufacturers. The colour is surprisingly not from paint but a tree resin that gets poured into the grooves that makes up the cover.

Manhole Cover Tokyo Japan

Tokyo manhole cover

In Australia, at least in Sydney, we don’t have such colourful and intricate street art. Instead, we improvise. This one was photographed at the beachside suburb of Coogee on a rainy day when I pointed to the ground and yelled out, “Superman!”

One can’t help but admire the person behind the art and the use of all three primary colours.

Manhole Cover at Coogee Australia

Coogee Beach (Australia) manhole cover


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Manhole Covers: Japanese and Australian Translations was last modified: December 20th, 2015 by Corinne Mossati

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Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is the Founder/Editor of popular online magazine Gourmantic and Cocktails & Bars, a website dedicated to cocktail culture and the discerning drinker. She is named in Australian Bartender Magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential List, is a member of The Academy responsible for judging the World’s 50 Best Bars. She has also judged the inaugural Australasian Whisky Awards and various national cocktail competitions.


  1. We love the manhole covers in Japan. We took a lot of pictures of the different varieties!

    • Cool, aren’t they. One could dedicate a website to the various designs. You must have quite a collection!

  2. aaaaaw! i didnt noticed them when i was in japan 🙁

  3. I like this crocodile one from Osaka

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