Art under your feet
It is said that the oldest sewage system in the world was used 4000 years ago in India and in the Mesopotamia area. Sewage systems began in Japan 2200 years ago. The full scale of the Western-styled Swage System arrived in 1884 in Tokyo bringing the first manholes.
The local governments provided manhole covers with only the logo of the city in the beginning. In the 1990s, a high-ranking bureaucrat within the construction ministry came up with the idea to let each municipal government have its own design to make tax payers aware of the costly need for sewage system projects.
Many original covers began to appear because the ministry had started a competition between cities to choose the top 20 most beautiful covers across the nation. Although there are many countries that have decorated their manholes with artistic covers, each city in Japan features the local produce, wildlife, flowers and even the history reflecting local culture. Undoubtably Japan has the largest amount of beautifully designed and uniquely varied manholes in the world.
Further more, there has never been a report of a manhole cover ever having been stolen.
So, while you are out walking in Miyazaki or other places in Japan, please look for the Art under your feet!