Hunting Pokemon has just got even more fun in Japan, where Pokémon-themed manhole covers are popping up all over the country. Characters such as Magnemite, Elekid, Raikou and Tyrunt have been appearing in cities from Tokyo to Osaka, Kyoto, Nara and even in tropical Okinawa in beautifully coloured installations.
Japan has something of a tradition of manhole art. The most utilitarian of street features are routinely transformed into adorable features, often including symbols and designs specific to each area, such as landmarks and local fauna. The latest wave of 206 – yes 206, and you gotta spot 'em all! – Pokémon designs is designed to boost tourism in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. We have to say that we thoroughly approve (as an aside, if you want to play Pokémon games on Nintendo's latest console, make sure you check out the best Nintendo Switch deals.)
Known as Pokéfuta, or Poke-lids, the manhole covers have been donated by the Pokémon Company. Each lid has a one-off design, with a range of first-generation Pokémon and newer monsters appearing over the series.
As well as being nuggets of public art to spot in streets, parks and parking lots, they also serve as Pokéstops for the game Pokémon Go. The manhole covers can be located and logged in the game. There are also maps available online (opens in new tab) to help track down the manhole covers if you don't have the game.
There are six Pokéfuta in Tokyo's Serigaya Park, which is located in Machida where Pokémon creator Satoshi Tajiri spent his childhood. This location seems particularly apt since the video game designer is said to have taken inspiration from the park when creating his characters.
We already loved how Japan puts so much work into turning something that people walk over every day into little artistic gems. The Pokémon designs now add to the fun even more. Fancy proposing themed manhole lid designs for your own neighbourhood? Check out the best current prices on Adobe's Creative Cloud suite of apps below, and see our guide to how to use colour in illustration.