You might have heard of the Pokémon manhole covers that you can find in several cities across Japan. Until recently there were no Pokémon manhole covers to be found in Tokyo. However, in August 2020 the capital prefecture finally got their first manhole covers.
In the Serigaya Park in Machida city, you can find 6 Pokémon manhole covers. They are featuring the Gen one starters, Bulbasaur, Charmander and Squirtle as well as Poliwag, Ratta, Pidgey, Weedle, Caterpie and Oddish. The new manhole covers are also Pokéstops in Pokémon Go.
The location in the western part of Tokyo prefecture was chosen as Machida is the town where Satoshi Tajiri, the president of Game Freak and creator of the Pokémon franchise spent his childhood. One of his favourite hobbies was capturing and watching bugs. That later became an inspiration for the Pokémon games.
When venturing through the park looking for the manhole covers you can imagine how Tajiri might have felt as a child. The manhole covers are registered on Google maps as spots so you can easily find them.
The Pokémon manhole covers have become fairly popular tourist spots. The bookstore Village Vanguard also released a Pokémon manhole cover merchandise collection in April. It features items such as keychains, mugs, stickers, badges and postcards with the Pokémon manhole cover designs. The items are fairly popular and most are currently out of stock in their online shop.
So far there are over 100 manhole covers all over Japan with more manhole covers to be coming in the future. If you plan your next trip to Japan why not check the location and see which are close to places you want to visit and take some nice souvenir photos of the manhole covers. You can find a list of all manhole covers and their locations on the official website.