You Can Now Get Japan’s Beautiful Manhole Covers On T-Shirts

Unlike most parts of the world, Japan’s manhole covers are beautiful works of art. There are many different designs, including Pokemon and Gundam designs as well as some featuring designs by Studio Ghibli director Hayao Miyazaki – there are even manhole covers that light up to show off their manga art. In addition to this, each municipality across Japan has its own special manhole cover designs, many of which appear regularly. on Instagram.

The team behind the clothing brand Japan Metro is so impressed with the unique city looks cover designs that they print them on T-shirts.

Photo: Japan Metro

Of course, accessing these stunning designs isn’t as easy as snapping a photo of a manhole cover – the team must obtain permission from each local government to use the artwork. So they decided to cross Japan by van, stopping in different towns along the way to negotiate.


The team even films its journey through Japan and posts videos on the brand’s websites. Youtube channel, as well as reports on discussions with municipalities (in Japanese only).

The current collection of t-shirts includes manhole cover designs from cities in Hokkaido and the Tohoku and Hokuriku regions. The team will venture further south to get clearance for more cities, with a visit to the last prefecture, Okinawa, scheduled for September 2022.

Japan Metro
Photo: Japan Metro

All T-shirts are dyed by skilled artisans in Japan kyo yuzen dyeing method originated in Kyoto Prefecture and known for its vivid colors and crisp prints. Plus, a portion of every sale goes to fund local projects in that city.

Japan Metro
Photo: Japan Metro

Each t-shirt is available in black or white and costs ¥4,200. The best of all, Japan Metro ships internationally, so just select “overseas” during checkout and the page changes to English. Note that currently all jerseys are available for pre-order only; they should be shipped in February.

No more news

Netflix is ​​preparing a series on the geishas of Kyoto directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda

Hokkaido now has a gorgeous hotel room made entirely of ice

Travel Checklist: What You Need to Return to Japan from Abroad

Watch amazing music, theater and dance performances at Tokyo Performing Arts Festival 2022

These top Tokyo attractions will close permanently in 2022

Want to be the first to know what’s cool in Tokyo? Subscribe to our newsletter for the latest updates from Tokyo and Japan.

Comments are closed.