Photo: PR Times

Gundam manholes land in Sagamihara City adding to Japan’s impressive lineup of manhole designs

By grape Japan

Manhole covers in Japan are more than just utilitarian, sometimes they have designs that add a bit more flair to the city streets. While originally they often incorporated local sights or specialties, these days localities can encourage more tourism by installing manhole covers inspired by popular characters such as Pokemon.

Another popular series that now has some manhole cover tributes is classic mecha anime Gundam. Two designs have landed in Sagamihara City in Kanagawa Prefecture.

Sagamihara is the perfect place to house these tributes to the science-fiction anime, as it is the home of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) Campus. The original designs have nods to this local history of space exploration with universe themes featuring spacecrafts developed by JAXA.

One stars the RX-78-2 Gundam along with the Hayabusa craft that JAXA launched in 2003 and returned to Earth in 2010.


The second design combines the MS-06 Zaku II from the Mobile Suit Gundam series with SLIM (Smart Lander for Investigating Moon), a pinpoint lunar lander set to launch later this year.


Before being properly installed, these manhole covers will be displayed at various locations in Sagamihara from now until May 8. They are currently at the Sagamihara City Museum as part of their Sewage World mini exhibition.

Read more stories from grape Japan.

-- Stunning “Castle in the Sky” diorama shows Muska discovering the giant Aetherium crystal

-- Mochi Kirby and Warp Star wagashi come to convenience stores for character’s 30th anniversary

-- Security guard in years-long standoff with cat trying to enter museum have touching morning routine

© grape Japan

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

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Thomas GoodtimeToday  07:37 am JST

I'm so proud of our manhole collection....

They're so beautiful and well crafted, it'd be tempting for a thief to steal a few for his 'collection' - not that I would advocate that. At least, they DO make great attractions for tourists to snap pics of, and maybe selfies too. They're that good.

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These are among the quirky things that make Japan so delightful.

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So Very Cool. If this was to happen in my Country, they would be stolen and melted down within hours.

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They're so beautiful and well crafted, it'd be tempting for a thief to steal a few for his 'collection' - not that I would advocate that.

Perhaps versions should be made available for sale to collectors?

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Sagamihara has been in the news (here) a fair bit recently, and it's refreshing that this story is a whole lot more positive than the others...... very cool !

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