Manhole Covers in Shizuoka Prefecture (3)

56: Sagara Cho! Old and new!

Sagara Cho is located in the south part of Makinohara City.
This is a bit confusing for newcomers as only recently Haibara Gun has been renamed Makinohara City while two districts, namely Yoshida Cho (Town) and Sagara Cho (Town) have still kept their names and some autonomy as Makinohara City has a Town Hall in both districts!

Talking of Sagara Town Hall, the staff and civil servants there not only are super friendly bu also proud of their culture and history! It is not big but even though they can provide you with pamphlets in three foreign languages!

Actually if you visit the Tourism Bureau inside the Town Hall the staff there will donate you a metal badge of their newest manhole cover if you can show them a photo of it!

There is actually only one sample of this new manhole cover i town. It is located along the main shopping street right from the bus stop, Sagara Eigyoujyou, the last stop of the Shizutetsu Highway Bus leaving from Shizuoka Cenova Store or Shizuoka Station (about two every hour, 80 minute-trip! Count 1,250 yen)!

You can’t miss it!

It commemorates the 300th Anniversary of the Death of Tanuma Okitsugu, the last Daimyo of the Sagara Domain.
Check his life and achievements on Wikipedia!

At the same time and in the same street you can discover real antiques!
This fire hydrant was installed in 1991!
I heard it is kept for the sake of culture but it is actually functioning!

Since it would not be easy to find for fire trucks especially at night the City had the word “水?Water” painted on the road!

An older common type fire hydrant cover but with the sigil of Sagara Cho!

Another one found everywhere with only “水/Water” sigil!

A large sewer manhole cover with the Shizuoka Prefecture map sigil!

A small valve cover with the Sagara Cho sigil!

Another one with the same sigil!

Time to say good by and take the bus back to Shizuoka City!
55: Makinohara City!

Beautiful fire hydrant manhole cover but does not bear any distinctive sigil!

Makinohara City in the southern center part of Shizuoka Prefecture, in spite of its full city status acquired on October 11th, is what you may call a manhole cover desert. The city was created by merging the northern and western part of Haibara Gun/Distric (the southeastern part becoming Yoshida Cho/Town) and Sagara Village. Its main resources are green tea, some fishing and a Suzuki car components factory.
I suppose that in some near future that the City will come up with its own distinctive manhole cover!

This large fire hydrant cover is the only truly Makinohara City cover! It is a common design but with the name of the city on it!

This is a cover found everywhere with the central sigil with the Japanese caharacter for “water”!


The same with the old Haibara District sigil!

は/hiragana for “ha” of Haibara District!

A well preserved cover but with the old Haibara District sigil!

An even older Haibara District cover!

Similar one but reinforced by an outer rim!

A small valve cover from my old files!

Looking forward to the new Makinohara City manhole cover!
54: Yoshida Cho (formerly part of Haibara Gun)!

Talking of Yoshida Cho in Shizuoka Prefecture still confuses a lot people here because its former name, Haibara Gun, was changed to the new modern appellation only recently. To make things more difficult there are more than a half dozen districts/towns of the same name in other Prefectures!
This is probably the main reason that Yoshida Town decided to devise their own manhole cover to advertise/promote their region!
It can be found in front of Yoshida Town Hall bus stop across the street!

A certainly more modern approach to design!

The Town is more known for another color cover installed quite some time ago near the seaside, quite a way far from the Town Hall!

It uncolored version inside a bigger cover!

The uncolored version on its own!

One can find in the same Town all kinds of “ancient” and more recent covers, particular to this area or regularly found all over Japan like this fire hydrant cover!

I found this one in my files but couldn’t locate it during my last trip!

A type found in many places but with a Yoshida Town central sigil!

This sigil was created when Haibara Gun was renamed Yshida Town!

You do have to keep an eye on that central sigil as you might in for some surprises!

Yoshida Cho vigil!

How about this one then?

Shimada City sigil! Apparently they ran short and had to “borrow” this one from neighboring Shimada City!

One can find various valve covers!

Another one with a different rating!

Central Yoshida Cho vigil for this one found everywhere in the country!

A small semi private one with the same design as the classic one!

I found this one in my old files but it might have disappeared!
Oi river water access! It might be found all along the river!

A private one found in my old files privately owned by the Yoshida Flower Park!
53: Love Line! Sunshine!! Manga Covers in Numazu City! (Complete!)

Love Line! Sunshine! manga on buses in Numazu City!

The nationally and internationally popular Love Line! Sunshine! happens to take place in Numazu City as it is a harbour city in Shizuoka Prefecture,Japan!
The city has naturally made it its emblem and the number of japanese and foreign visitors for the sole purpose of visiting and acquiring memorabilia is ever increasing!

Love Line! Sunshine! Manga on bus stop billboard!

Some time ago the city through crowd funding decided to create color manhole covers depicting the nine heroines of the Manga series.
But not is all rosy under the sky even in Japan. A disgruntled or jealous, but definitely deranged student decided to destroy all the covers by painting them with highly corrosive liquid. The bad news were of course aired all over the world. The city first took all the covers to be replaced with plain ones at first.

Love Line! Sunshine! Manga on rental bicycles!

After some reflection the city, through crowd funding again, decided to create new manhole covers with the manga theme. But this time only three characters, the whole group and a Japanese language name graphics were made in colors. These colored covers are unique whereas the black ones are most unique with some exceptions. No need to say that they are protected by the citizens and hidden cameras!

Here is the full collection, which I must admit took some doing at times! LOL

For reference here is photo of the nine original covers!

The group one facing the sea in color.

The same in black, which cannot be seen on pavements but is sometimes exhibited at local events!

Its mint character makes it a bit difficult to discern the details!

The colored “Harbour Girl” Japanese character cover!

The black version!
Now, this is one is a bit tough to find as it is unique!
First you must either go by car or take a 40-mimute bus trip. Board the bus going to “Enashi/江梨” from the number 8 bus stop in front of Numazu station. Get down at “Nagahama Shiro Ato/長浜城跡). Luckily enough the cover is just a few steps away!

Chika cover, exists only in black!

Harumaru cover, colored!

Harumaru cover, in black!

Dia coevr, exists only in black.
Another tough one to discover as it is unique and located among pine trees inside “Sengon Hama Park/千本浜公園”. You need some some luck there!

Kanan cover, exists only in black!

Mari cover, exists only in black!

Riko cover, exists only in black!

Ruby cover, colored version!

Ruby cover, black version!

Yoshiko cover, colored version!

Yoshiko cover, black version!

Good hunting and don’t forget to start very early as it will take you at least a full day with good preparations. Moreover you had better do it all on foot except for the 40-minute bus trip!

52: Numazu City (except Love Line! Sunshine!! Manga Covers)

The large and medium-sized Numazu Mount Fuji Covers together!

This is a roundup of manhole covers in Numazu City although it does not include the Love Lin! Sunshine!! Manga Covers and places like Heda which were merged into the City. They will appear in future articles!

This is the beautiful color manhole covers they call “Mount Fuji” Cover in Numazu City! hard to find as there is only one to be discovered in the harbor vicinity!

The large sized Mount Fuji cover to be found everywhere in town!

The same, medium-sized!

The brand new one, in balack and white!

An older one with the Numazu City sigil in the middle!

An even older one with the same sigil in the middle!

This type with the same sigil in the middle can be seen in various colors to follow the patterns on the pavement!
51: Oyama Ashigara!

Fire Hydrant cover common to many places. You have to check the “logo/sigil”!

This particular search turned into a real adventure! I started with a mistake getting off at Suruga-Oyama Station where I found out that the local Tourism Information had been closed for good for more than a year! I had to take a bus and walk for quite a while to find my target at the Fujinomiya Rest Area!

The circle logo/sigil means it belongs to Oyama Ashigara area!

My target! The only color Oyama manhole cover exhibited inside the information office at the Fujinomiya Rest Area! Great staff there incidentally!

Cute, aren’t they?

Pressurized air valve cover with Oyama Ashigara sigil!

I had found out previously that none of Oyama Ashigara covers could be found around Suruga Oyama Station so I asked the staff where I could find them. They replied theris was the only one to be seen. But I had seen photographs of uncolored ones near a station. So It could be only Ashigara Statio, the one station before!
I ignored the advice and decided to walk all the way to Ahigara Station!

On the way I found this different typeof fire hydrant cover!

The kanji for “water” inside the sigil meant it was a common cver used in many parts of Japan!

After a full hour walk my stubborness was rewrded!

Ashigara (unmanned) Station along the Gootemba Railway Line!

There were not one but half a dozen of them!

I also discovered this old fashioned rectangular fire hydrant cover with the Oyama Ashigara sigil!

Never give up! LOL

8 bis: New Covers in Atami City!

Atami City at the entrance of the Izu Peninsula has always been borring of the the fame of the Peninsula, especially stories from the Nbel Prize writer Yoshinori Kawabata, famous for the Izu Odoriko as featured in Atami Yacht harbor by a statue of the famous scene representing a man kicking his lover with his geta/Japanese clog!

Along the pavement opposite on the far side of the street opposite of the city you will find interesting covers!

All right, you will find this tyoe all over Japan! LOL

Now, this the is the one you will be looking for!
But there is another one…

You will have to walk a bit, though, befor you will find it in front (there is only one of its kind!) of the first station of the railway line leading to Ito City!

Beautifui, isn’t it?

You will find them in their mint forms at the Atami Waterwoks Office!

Walking down from the station you will discover this sall sized one found only in a few cities in Japan commerating Natiojnal Land Survey!
23 bis: Old and New Manhole Covers Roundup in Fujieda City!

I heard tehre have been some additions to manhole covers in Fujieda City and I decided to investigate!
If you get down the south exit of Fujieda JR Station you will notice a new one on your right abot 50 meters away on the pavement!

Here it is !

Fujieda City is arguably the City where the first game of football/soccer was played in Japan, hence the soccer ball!
The gentleman is a famous TV talent and the lady a local TV announcer!

The wisteria (fuji/藤 in Japanese) is the emblem flower of Fujieda City which incidentally means “wisteria branch”!

This manhole cover was obviously sponsored by a TV Company!

Here and there you will find this cover representing both Mount Fuji (“Fuji” is being used as pictorial pun as it both means Mount Fuji and wisteria). This kind i getting a bit old and it has become difficult to distinguish the slight differences in color of the two original ones. the bird featured there is the city emblem bird, the “mejiro/Japanese White-eye!

Now if you go to the beautiful Rengeiji Flower Park you will find a new cover ust before the entrance!

Different materials used!

Of course you willfind the same design without he colors and in two different sizes in many locations!

This is a far older type with the Fujieda City logo in the middle!

Another old one with the same central logo!

And still another one with the same logo but in rectangular shape!

And to finish one with a cute mejiro among flowers!

50: New and Old Fire Hydrant and Fire Cistern Covers in Shizuoka City!

if you walk or cycle along Showa Street in Aoi Ku, Shizuoka City, near Ichi Ban Cho you will find a series of old and new fire hydrant and fire cistern manhole covers with an interesting geometric design!

This particular ones is surrounded in yellow to allow fire trucks to easily spot them!

It is actually the cover over an important access to a fire cistern!

We know the design is brand new as it features the new Shizuoka Ciy emblem in its middle!

Going back you will find this still fairly modern design on a fire hydrant cover!

As they erased the central design it is probably a type used in the whole prefecture!

Further down the road you will find an old design!

It is partly painted in yellow for easy spotting at night.
This a type used in the whole prefecture and probably beyond!

49: Chibi Maruko in Shimizu Ku & Aoi Ku in Shizuoka City!

Chibi Maruko is the heroine of the Chibi Maruko Chan manga series known all over Japan and far beyond overseas.
It was created by Momoko Sakura, born miki Miura(8 May 1965 – 15 August 2018), a resident of Shimizu Ku (formerly Shimizu City) in Shizuoka City. By sheer coincidence the laying of thetwo new and unique manhol covers had been delayed and were installed just after the sudden death of artist.

The first was laid on Sptember 6th in Shimizu Ku just in front of the west exit of Shimizu JR Station.

Chibi Maruko wears a pink holiday outfit on this one.

The background features Mount Fuji which you can see from Shimizu JR Station by clear weather.

Also in the background are tuna and the sea as Shimizu is a major fishing harbor with the largest tuna haul in Japan!

The other one was laid on September 7th at the entrance of the waking alley behind Cenova Deppartment Store in Aoi Ku!

It represents Chibi Maruko in her primary school uniform and headwear!

The background shows Mount Fuji and the Abe River!

And the tea fields, for which Shizuoka is so famous!

Remember these are the only samples! Unique
48) New Rescue Kingfishers Cover in Shizuoka City!

A couple of years ago the Shizuoka City Fire Department adopted a new logo you can now see on all their vehicles, ambulances included.

The “birds” are kingfishers, the emblem birds of Shizuoka City!


The first kingfisher is a fire fighter, the second one a rescue team member and the third one a mdeic with the ambulance services!


A new manhole cover was created at the same time bearing the fire fighter kingfisher ut it was never used as it was found too slippery in wet conditions!

Finally in July this year the new design appeared in the streets of Shizuoka City!
Note that this particular manhole cover is used only over fire hydrants and the yellow circle has been painted around it to make it easier to find at night!

A very colorful design, indeed!

The fire fighter!

The rescue team member!

The ambulanceman/medic!
47) Shuzenji in Izu City

Shuzenji used to be a town of its own before a lot of towns and cities were merged at the end of the last Century and at the beginning f the present one.
It makes things confusing in some places and Shuzenji is a case in point. It is now part of the new City called Izu (not to be confused with Izu no Kuni City!)!
Accordingly two types of logos on manhole covers will be found in the streets and pavements, taht of Shuzenji and that of Izu City!

The above plaque has the logo of Shuzenji!

This small water valve cover also bears the Shuzenji logo!

Now, this is the large modern manhole covers with the new logo of Izu City and irises found all over the new City regardless of its ancient history!

This water valve bears the new Izu City logo!

On the other hand this older valve is a hot spring natural hot water access valve!

Good hunting!

46) “new” and “old” discoveries in Hamamatsu City!


The other day I had the opportunity to visit Hamamatsu City for the first time in a long time and discovered and re-discovered manhole covers!
The one above is a new one for access to sewers with the mascot of Hamamatsu City, “Ieyasu Kun”, That is Lord Tokugawa Ieyasu that the City of Hamamatsu more or less stole (like they do with other things…) from Shizuoka City.
They added a piano to his apron because Hamamatsu City is the biggest piano producer in Shizuoka Prefecture.
Unfortunately there quite a few mistakes in the English translation (boohhh… for an international city!):


In the end (to make sure that they don’t copy Shizuoka City?) a new cover was created to give Ieyasu Kun a female companion called “Nattora Chan”1 And they also made a point that they too have a castle….


More interestingly, when I visited the old district of “Sakana Cho” I discovered, or more aptly said re-discovered old covers bearing fish (which is also pronounced “sakana” in Japanese!).
The one above represents two flat fish/soles/halibuts.


The two fish on that other one are cods, but I’m not too sure!


On this one, not a manhole cover, but a sewer plaque, the fish is definitely what the British call a “plaice”!

Footnote: Many cities, towns and villages having been recently merged into Hamamatsu City but I keep such reports according to separate areas of this area-wise vast city!
45) Ito City!


Ito City is a bit isolated at the eastern extremity of Shizuoka Prefecture just south of Atami City.
More “outsiders” than tourists from Shizuoka Prefecture tend to crowd its narrow streets.
It is a quaint city full of hidden sights and one of them lies at your feet, namely manhole covers!


The first you will feet is that of a colorful rendition of a “matoi”/firefighters festival pole, which reminds you of the importance of keeping a vigilant eye all year round as fires were and still are the scourge of Japanese cities!


Cito City has two distinct “official” manhole cover designs, one showing the rugged shore, its light house and a suspended bridge over the sea!


The other one is a rendition of the famous tub race festival being held every summer down the local river!


Some local citizens went as far as painting some for better a better exposure!


Note the official Ito City design on plainer covers!


And if you look carefully, you will find plenty more covering all the valves needed for a city famous for its hot springs!

44) Former Shizuoka City Hall Dome in Shizuoka City!


The former City Hall of Shizuoka City was built in 1934 although the City of Shizuoka got its present name and status in 1868 succeeding to the City called Sumpu when Tokugawa Ieaysu retired from politics to settle in Fuchu.

In 1996, when the new Shizuoka City Hall had been completed, the Shzuoka City Mayor of the time, Shingo Amano, ordered the former building to be pulled down but fortunately a petition from the citizens of Shizuoka prevented him to do so and the building the same year became an intangible Shizuoka City Culture Asset thus preventing anyone to change it.
It subsequently became the hoe of the Shizuoka City Council among others.


Probably the same year the first manhole cover representing the former City Hall surrounded by swallows, the official birds of Shizuoka City at the time appeared on the streets of Shizuoka City.
Although the City Hall is located north of Shizuoka JR Station , most former city hall designed manhole covers are found south of Shizuoka JR Station!


These manhole covers are found over accesses to road maintenance subterranean networks.
The Shizuoka City logo is the old one with the kanji character for “city”.
The colored manhole cover is unique and can be found only at the bottom of the steps leadin to Toshogun Shrine in Kunozan, Suruga Ku, Shizuoka City.


Most neutral versions are to be found along the main road going south from Shizuoka JR Station south exit and near Shizuoka University!


Check the logo if you find one!


There is also a unique one, not in neutral metal, but varnished in black in front of the former Shizuoka Prefecture Hall across the the Shizuoka City Hall!


In 2003, with the advent of Shimizu City being merged to Shizuoka City, a new type was created with a blue instead green background and pink instead of blue swallows!
The one above can be found on the pavement not far from Apita Store in Suruga Ku, Shizuoka City!


The logo of Shizuoka City was hence changed to a double geometric design!


There are only two samples of the colored version, the second one in front of the former Shizuoka Prefecture being unfortunately partly covered!


Strangely enough the modern version is very rare, as I found only three along the road between Ikeda Primary School and Honkaku Temple in Ikeda, Suruga Ku, Shizuoka City!


Check the new Shizuoka City logo!


There is actually a unique sub-type located in Okitsu, Shimizu Ku, Shizuoka City!


It is located in front of Okitsu Hot Spring Building in Okitsu!


The two kanji representing “Roads” at the bottom right had been suppressed!

Good hunting!
43: New Shizuoka Water Works Character Manhole Covers in Shizuoka City!



The other day, for totally unrelated reasons, I happened to walk past the Shizuoka Water Works Building which also houses the Suzuki Culinary Institute.


The whole street, which used to feature most movie theaters before they were moved to Cenova Dapartment Store, has been renovated by the City as it is being developed into a new residential district. Accordingly many manhole covers of all sizes and designs have been replaced with new ones!


The whole pavement had completely been relaid in front of the building but it was definitely unusual!


A water valve access with the Sumpu Castle. new, but noting unusual!


A brand new standard sized air-pressured water valve of a usual dseign!


The new (and third type) Tokugawa Ieyasu In Shizuoka City fire hydrant manhole cover. I thought it had been first laid in April this year but I might have to investigate as the Shizuoka Water Works Building was inaugurated in February!


The new manhole cover!
Now, there are only three of them with a different each!
I actually paid a visit and embarrassed quite a few officials who nonetheless graciously answered this strange expat’s questions that no Japanese would dare to!
These manhole covers, (actually double), are only partly cast with a round metal cover screwed on the wrought iron base.


The character is actually a raindrop!


It also bears the Shizuoka City logo!


“Shizuoka Water Works” in English!


And the water character even has a name! しずみい/”Shizumii”!


All three are markes: “Shizuoka City Earthquake-resistant Water Tank”!


The second manhole cover!


The main use for water in Japan!


The third manhole cover!


The importance of saving water!

The officials told me there no other new manhole covers planned for the near future in shizuoka City, but since they take care only of water I wouldn’t bet on the impossibility of new discoveries soon!
42) Manhole Covers in Susuno City!



The other day, my visit to Nagaizumi Cho proving shorter than expected I took the opportunity to continue my trip to Susono City in search of more manhole covers!


I was greeted at the exit with this fine but fairly common fire hydrant cover design with the difference that it bore the Susono City crest!


This unusually decorated water valve cover can be found almost everywhere in town!


I soon found the standard sized neutral official Susno City manhole cover!


The same in medium size!


The same again in small size!


There were plenty of neutral covers near the Station but I didn’t seem able to discover the colored ones!


My eyes fell on this series of very small covers!


A neutral one, but even tinier!


I decided to walk away from the station until I found the “main” street of Susono City!


Found it (them)!


The official colored Susono City (sewers) manhole cover with Mount Fuji, the Five Dragons Waterfalls and Azaleas!


There are plenty of medium and small ones such as this medium-sized pressurized air valve with Susono City logo!


Small sized water valve cover!


An even small valve cover!


A rectangular fire hydrant cover found in many places but with the Susono City logo!


You will find other plain or geometrically decorated covers in town such as this rain gathering talk cover with the Susono City logo!

Good hunting!
41) Manhole covers in Nagaizumi Cho!



Nagaizumi Cho is still an independent area contrary to many other places which lost their names after being merged into bigger neighboring cities.
It is located along the Gotemba Railway Line starting from Numazu City Before Susono City.
It proved a busier area than expected and I discovered that the mountains and nature were still a way from the station!


A splendid “matoi/纏/Firemen Festival Pole”!
But when it comes to manhole, colored or neutral, they are all within walking distance from the renovated Railway Station!


A small water valve with the Nagaizumi Cho logo!


A medium-sized pressurized air valve!


Getting near the purpose of this trip!


The star of the day!
The official colored Nagaizumi Cho (sewers) manhole cover!


The same, neutral!


Plenty to chase!


Neutral one again, but in medium size!


Neutral one, but in small size!


A rectangular fire hydrant manhole cover found all over Japan, but with the Nagaizumi Cho logo!


This “matoi” type fire hydrant is also found in many places, but with a difference!


Nagaizumi Cho logo!

Good hunting!


The Hidden Gems of Japan!

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