December 4, 2017
Tokyo- "Manhole cards," an increasingly popular item for collectors and featuring pictures of manholes with unique local designs, are set to cover all 47 prefectures of Japan.
Currently, 222 kinds of cards from communities in 46 prefectures, excluding Kagoshima, are available.
Distribution will start on Saturday for a manhole card from the city of Hioki and another from the town of China, both in the southwestern prefecture, as part of the sixth batch of new releases, also including 64 other types.
The cards, which are 8.8 centimeters long and 6.3 centimeters wide, are provided for free at local sewage treatment facilities and tourist information centers, with one copy given to each person in principle.
On the front of each card, a photo of a manhole cover is printed together with the longitude and latitude of the location of the manhole. An explanation of the background of the design is on its back side.
Distribution of manhole cards started in April last year. The total number of issuance has recently topped the one-million mark.
Also among the new releases are two cards of manholes with designs of Hello Kitty, a popular character of the Sanrio Puroland theme park in Tama, Tokyo, and a manhole card featuring "Hikonyan," a mascot of the city of Hikone in the western prefecture of Shiga.
Detailed information about manhole cards is available on the website of the project's organizer, Gesuido Koho (sewage publicity) Platform, or GKP, at "http://www.gk-p.jp/."
GKP comprises officials from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism and the Japan Sewage Works Association. Jiji Press
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