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YumeTwins Kawaii Culture BlogPoke Lids: The Amazing Story Behind Pokemon Manholes!

Poke Lids: The Amazing Story Behind Pokemon Manholes!

By Devon Lord-Moncrief
April 27, 2024
A Poke Lid in Yokohama.

One of the most unique (and coolest) Pokemon crossover events is the Poke Lids that have popped up across Japan. A mix of public works projects and the spreading of Pokemon goodness, Poke Lids are fun attractions for any Poke fan to try and find!

What are Poke Lids?

Poke Lids are manhole covers decorated in Pokemon themes and characters. Sporting tons of different Pokemon, activities, and themes, Poke Lids have a surprising amount of versatility and uniqueness about them. These unique covers started in 2018 as an event called Eevee Lids in Kagoshima Prefecture but continued in 2019 due to the event’s overwhelming popularity.

Pikachu standing in front of one of many Poke Lids.
Poke Lids are decorative manhole covers with Pokemon on them! Image via Moshi Moshi Nippon

Now, there are countless Poke Lids all across Japan, acting as fun tourist spots for fans. What’s also very cool is that Poke Lids have become incorporated into the mobile game Pokemon Go!, acting as special PokeStops for players to visit.

Kanto Region

Utsunomiya, the capital of Tochigi Prefecture, received three very cool Poke Lids, the first for its region! The first Poke Lid features Electabuzz and Skwovet near Utsunomiya Station’s East Park.

A bunch of Poke Lids at a press conference.
Most of these covers are in Tokyo and Yokohama! Image via Timeout Tokyo

The second Poke Lid the city received features Electrike and Crustle set near the Michinoeki Utsunomiya Romantic Village road stop. The third Poke Lid Utsunomiya received features the legendary Pokemon Thundurus, a mighty guardian for the go-kart tracks at Hachimanyama Park.

Tokyo Metropolitan Area

Pikachu standing in front of Poke Lids in Tokyo's Ogasawara.
They’re even on Tokyo’s Ogasawara Islands! Image via Grapee Japan

The Tokyo Metropolitan Area is massive, so listing every Poke Lid would take an entire list. So, instead, these are only a few of the Poke Lids that can be found throughout Tokyo. Fans of Wynaut and Tyrunt can find the wily Pokemon in front of The National Museum of Nature and Science. Pokemon Trainers who like Baltoy and Bronzor can find their Poke Lid at the Tokyo National Museum. Nautical Poke fans can also find a Poke Lid with Pikachu, Psyduck, and Machop by Nippon Maru Memorial Park.

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Kansai Region

Pokemon fans in Otsu City, Shiga have much to be excited about as they received not one but two Poke Lids! Decorated with the mighty Gyrados, a giant sea serpent Pokemon, Otsu City’s Poke Lids were installed by Otsu Lakeside Nagisa Park.

A bunch of Pokemon manhole covers in Kansai.
These covers are in Hyogo and Nara! Image via Super Sugoii

You can find one at Festival Square, and another at Sunshine Beach. For those who might not know, Gyrados is a frightening-looking but kind and brave Pokemon who is as strong as he is big. Having such a fearsome protector at Otsu Lakeside Nagisa Park would make any Poke fan feel safe!

Osaka Metropolitan Area

Osaka is bursting with Poke Lids, and only the most dedicated Poke fans will be able to find them all! Luckily, these lids are super easy to spot. The Pokemon Klink and Klang can be found in front of the Asahi Town Hall by its information board. For those taking a walk in Higashiishikiri Park, a Poke Lid with Elekid and Cucchito can be found. For those who find themselves by Higashiosaka City Hall, a lid can be found with Magnetites and Magneton.

Chubu Region

A Poke Lid in the Chubu Region.
You can find a Poke Lids in places such as Niigata! Image via Nintendo Wire

Of all the Pokemon that could have popped up in Ojiya City in Niigata Prefecture, it just happened to be Magikarp, Generation 1’s most beloved—but admittedly simple—fish Pokemon. For fans of the games, it’s well-known that Magikarps just flop around a bunch without doing much for their trainers. But with four Magikarp-themed Poke Lids installed throughout the city, the little orange fish is getting plenty of public attention.


In the southern part of Japan, there’s a place called Okinawa. The people there really love Pokémon! As of February 2022, Okinawa has 10 unique Pokémon manhole covers called Poké Lids. These Poké Lids are super cool and can be found in different parts of the island, like Naha and Urasoe.

A bunch of Pokemon manhole covers in front of a plane in Okinawa.
You can take a break from walking on the beach to see these Poke Lids! Image via Nintendo Wire

Some of the most awesome Poké Lids in Okinawa are Pikachu and Eevee in Naha City, Charizard and Gyarados in Urasoe City, and Lugia and Ho-Oh in Naha City. All in all, if you’re a big Pokémon fan and you visit Okinawa, you can go on a fun treasure hunt to find all the Poké Lids.

Why are these Poke Lids so adorable?

The Poke Lids across Japan serve more than just to spread Pokemon-themed content into the public eye. Many of the lids are themed with their local history, architecture, and history. They become a part of the local fabric and help celebrate their respective areas. Having Pokemon on them is just icing on the cake, but it is undeniably cute to see Pokemon engaging in fun and heartwarming activities.

What’s also lovely about the lids is that for as many as there are, they don’t overpopulate their cities. They serve as valuable public works and aren’t just frivolous fluff. But they are Pokemon-themed, and Pokemon make everything better.

Have you seen any of the Poke Lids installed across Japan? If so, which ones did you see? Do you have a log for them all? Please let us know in the comments below! We would love to hear about how you’ve seen them all!

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Devon Lord-Moncrief

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