There is a lot of beauty in Japan, most of what that country does in terms of design is simple and beautiful. I stumbled on these over the weekend and was awe-struck at the level of detail and craftsmanship. I dug a bit deeper and found out that the reason why each municipality was given creative freedom to create art on their manhole covers was to raise awareness for costly sewage projects and make them more palatable for taxpayers.
This has only been going on since 1985. Roughly 30 years and this is the breadth of creative design that Japan has put forth. Holy cow, this is so cool and beautiful. Thanks to photographer S. Morita for traveling around the entirety of Japan to capture each individual cover. There is about 6,000 different covers currently.