Just What Japan Needs: More Gundam Manholes

The city of Odawara is getting them for a very good reason

New Gundam manholes that will be installed in Japan this August.
Odawara is getting these lovely Gundam manholes.
Image: 創通・サンライズ

Manholes! In Japan, they’re works of art, reflecting the city or region they’re in with beautiful designs and even lovely colors.

Previously, we’ve seen Pokémon manholes, which were excellent. The first Pokémon manholes were installed in 2019, but as of last August, there were already 100 of them.


We’ve also seen Gundam manholes before, because of course we have! Back in 2019, the very first ones were unveiled for Tokyo’s Inagi City, with five being installed. (Note that Pokémon manholes are dubbed Poké Futa in Japanese, or Poké Lid, while Gundam manholes are simply Gundam Manhooru.)

And now, Japan is getting even more. According to the official site Gundam.info, Char’s Zaku and Gundam manholes will be installed on August 1 in Odawara, Kanagawa.

Why Odawara? Well, that’s the hometown of Gundam creator Yoshiyuki Tomino, who was also on hand with the city’s mayor at the official unveiling ceremony.

In the Gundam manhole, Odawara Castle can be seen in the background, while the Zaku features a fish. That’s fitting because the city has long been a famed fishing port.

Above is a rendering, but in the photo below you can see what the actual manhole covers look like. I think they’re fantastic.

A photo of the latest Gundam manholes that will be installed this August in Japan.
It’s hard to decide which Gundam manhole is cooler.
Image: 創通・サンライズ

The manhole covers are the latest entries in the Gundam Manhole Project. Yep, that’s the official name! It helps to help revitalize local economies through the power of Gundam...and manholes.

People in Japan actually do enjoy looking at manhole covers when visiting places. A friend of mine always stops and takes photos of them; however, I’m not sure that’s enough impetus alone to visit a town or city. Odawara seems nice, though! The new Gundam manholes are an added plus, and the city being Tomino’s hometown makes them extra special.


Edmund Hunsicker

“In the Gundam manhole, Odawara Castle can be seen in the background, while the Zaku features a fish.”

That’s no Zaku, boy. No Zaku.

It’s a Z’gok.  Specifically Char’s Z’gok from the assault on Jaburo.