Hunting Manhole Covers
08.10.2012 § 1 Comment
I’ve been lucky to travel to Europe many times for business, to France, Italy, Belgium, Switzerland, England. After a while, I got a little blasé about things and did not pay too much attention to anything other than getting my business done. I did take one or two short excursions for pleasure, dovetailing the business trip, to places such as Venice, Paris and Prague. I was not looking for anything in particular at those times, although I noticed the door handles in Prague were quite amazing and took many pictures of them. Unfortunately, my documentation was lost, and I have never been back to Prague since.
I tend to notice subtle differences between places and find that the most prosaic objects can be the most interesting. I had noticed manhole covers here and there while I traveled the world, but not until I took a relaxing vacation tour in Japan did I develop a true interest and decide I would documents them whenever I see them, good or bad. This will be how I record my footsteps from now on. One of the reasons this aroused my interest was because the manhole covers I saw in Japan were out of the ordinary. Some of them were outrageously interesting, nothing like what I’d seen before. The Japanese are tradition-respecting people. They have kept very old things intact, so it is a good place to search for history. Here are a few outrageous manhole covers I found:
Osaka Castle is one of Japan’s most famous castles and played a major role in the unification of Japan during the sixteenth century. It was build by General Toyotomi Hideyoshi.
Osaka Dodonbori is one of the principal tourist destinations in Osaka, Japan.
Nara Tōdai-ji, temple gate
Nara was the capital of Japan from 710 to 784, lending its name to the Nara period. The manhole covers I saw were from Tōdai-ji temple built around 741AD. The temple is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as “Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara.”
The manhole covers I found in Tōdai-ji have a contemporary graphic flair. Here they are shown below: