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Poke Lid manhole covers: Pokemon fans breathes new life into natural-disaster-struck towns

Posted on December 22, 2020


The Poke Lid manhole project began in 2018 and was initiated as a means to bring more tourists into the more remote areas of Japan, especially cities that have recently been struggling from the aftermath of natural disasters. So far, Poke Lids have already popped up in all eight regions of Japan—Hokkaido, Tohoku, Kanto, Chubu, Kinki, Chugoku, Shikoku, and Kyushu. But rumor has it, there are still plans for many more to be installed. Some of the designs draw connections to notable attractions of the area. For example, the Poke Lid in Iwate features Geodude, the Pokemon with rocks for hands. The kanji for Iwate also means rock and hand!

Poke Lid manhole Wingull & Lapras

photo by @tak23kat

Wingull and Lapras can be found in the small coastal town of Onagawa, located in Miyagi Prefecture. Onagawa is noted for its fishing industry, so be sure to try out the seafood when you visit!


If you take a look at the official website here, you’ll be able to navigate your way through the whole of Japan based on where you can find Poke Lids. The site is super informative and will tell you which Pokemon are featured and exactly where they are located. Dates of the upcoming Poke Lids are also listed for those who want to plan their trips accordingly.

Poke Lid manhole Stantler & Chansey

photo by @712r1sa

Each Poke Lid has a diameter of 60 centimeters. This manhole art featuring Stantler and Chansey can be spotted in Shinchi, a small agricultural town in Fukushima Prefecture.

Poke Lid manhole Magikarp

photo by @gentyan1123

This awesome Magikarp manhole design lies all the way in Ojiya, a city of 35,000 in Niigata Prefecture. Each Poke Lid features a unique design, meaning that Pokemon fans must travel to that exact location to see each original design.

Poke Lid manhole Charmander

photo by @beechyme

None other than Charmander in Serigaya Park in Machida City, Tokyo!

Poke Lid manhole Pikachu

photo by @maisykuv

Pikachu in Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture. Elements of Yokohama’s distinct waterfront and cityscape, Minato Mirai, can be seen in this Poke Lid. In the background, we can see the giant Cosmo Clock ferris wheel and the buildings unique to Yokohama. Yokohama is Japan’s second largest city and can be reached within one hour from Tokyo!

Poke Lid manhole vulpix & turtwig

photo by @gutsthecorgi77

The super cute Vulpix and Turtwig can be found in the small city of Ishikari, in the northern island of Hokkaido. Looks like there is an unnamed Pokemon sitting next to the manhole… I wonder what he is called?

The Poke Lids are also used as Poke Stops for the AR smartphone game, Pokemon Go, so be sure to go catch those Pokemon!


For more information on Poke Lids, please visit the official website at:



Written by: Maya Kimura Watts