Beautiful salutes to nearly two dozen anime/manga franchises light the way to the newest otaku destination.

Japan is filled with sightseeing options. On the traditional side of things are its shrines and temples, and urban landmarks such as the Shibuya Scramble crossing and Akihabara’s ever-changing cityscape are reflections of the country’s modern culture.

Recently, though, there’s a new class of sights to see: Japan’s awesome manhole covers.

We just learned about Fukushima joining the Pokémon manhole cover club, and today’s batch of artistic infrastructure can be found in the city of Tokorozawa, Saitama Prefecture, about 20 minutes north of downtown Tokyo. August 1 was the opening of Tokorozawa Sakura Town, Japan’s newest pop culture complex for fans of anime, manga, and other otaku art forms, and after visitors step off the train at nearby Higashi Tokorozawa Station they can follow a path of manholes with full-color illustrations of characters from some of Japanese animation’s most popular series, including Neon Genesis Evangelion, Gundam, Sword Art Online, Spice and Wolf, and Slayers.

If their colors look particularly vivid, it’s because the artwork isn’t painted on, but being projected by LEDs. Each manhole cover has a light-emitting apparatus embedded within it, powered by a solar panel, which displays the illustration on a transparent plate on its surface.

Because of their LED format, the manhole covers can continue to shine even after the sun goes down, as long as they’ve gathered enough solar energy during the day.

In total, 28 different anime-themed LED manhole covers have been installed, saluting 23 franchises. There’s even a map, available below, that shows where each can be found, with the complete list being:

1: A Certain Magical Index
2: Re:Zero -Starting Life in Another World-
3, 17, 22, 28: Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin
4: The Five Star Stories
5, 13: Anime Tourism Association mascot Junrei-chan
6: Bungo Stray Dogs
7: Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out
8, 23: Yamato Takeru
9: The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
10: Lucky Star
11: Slayers
12: Date A Live
14: Overload
15: Sword Art Online
16: Full Metal Panic
18: Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai
19: Neon Genesis Evangelion
20: Record of Lodoss War
21: Sgt. Frog
24: Spice and Wolf
25: KonoSuba: God’s Blessing on this Wonderful World
26: Kino’s Journey -The Beautiful World-
27: The Hero Is Overpowered but Overly Cautious

▼ Higashi Tokorozawa Station (東所沢駅) is the yellow building at the bottom right, with Tokorozawa Sakura Town (ところざわサクラタウン) the pink complex in the upper left.

▼ In the interest of saving fans of impeccable taste a little scrolling, we’ll remind you here that the Slayers manhole cover is number 11 on the map.

The guiding light of these otaku beacons will be especially welcome to guests staying at Japan’s first-ever all-anime-themed hotel, which is opening this fall in Tokorozwa Sakura Town.

Source: PR Times via IT Media
Images: PR Times
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