When it comes to Japanese prefectures, Pokémon’s gotta cap ’em all.

It was with great fanfare that a kimonoed Pikachu helped unveil the newest Pokémon-themed manhole cover in Kanazawa City, Ishikawa Prefecture, on 16 May. This is Ishikawa’s first utility hole cover known as a Pokéfuta and is located outside the entrance to the National Crafts Museum.

The lid features the water-type Milotic, which is said to be the most beautiful of Pokémon, with the silhouettes of various works of art resembling items you might find on display in the museum.

In fact, this unveiling also took place during an ongoing exhibit at the museum featuring over 70 works of Japanese crafts based on the world of Pokémon.

Everyone was very excited about the new edition, but also confused as to why that particular Pokémon was selected.

“That’s fun for the whole family to visit!”
“It’s cute.”
“Yes! Thank you very much!”
“It’s perfect!”
“I’m not sure what the connection is between Kanazawa and Milotic, but that’s an ultra rare one!”
“They say Milotic is based on a giant oarfish, but that doesn’t really explain anything.”
“The Pokémon Center in Kanazawa also has a big Milotic in front. Is it the only one with that?”
“Kanazawa’s on the ocean. The ocean is beautiful. Milotic is the beautiful Pokémon… That’s all I got.”

There is usually some sort of cultural connection between the Pokémon selected to grace the manholes of certain areas. All of Kagawa’s lids have Slowpoke because its Japanese name of Yadon sounds like the regional specialty of udon noodles while Iwate Prefecture’s ones frequently feature Geodude because “Iwate” literally translates to “rock hand” and Geodude is literally a rock with hands.

▼ Osaka’s Pokéfuta are located in the industrial suburb of Higashiosaka, hence a lot of steel and electric Pokémon

Image: © SoraNews24

Since Ishikawa can literally translate to “stone river” these does seem to be an opening for a rock-water-type like Drednaw or Tirtouga, but instead they get Milotic. Although no explanation was given for the Pokéfuta, as one comment pointed out, the Kanazawa Pokémon Center’s mascot is also Milotic and there’s a big statue of it out front, suggesting a long association between this Pokémon and this place.

▼ Milotic can be seen prominently displayed in this video tour of the Kanazawa Pokémon Center

According to the store’s website, Milotic was chosen because it is said to be the most beautiful Pokémon and the Hokuriku region, where Kanazawa is located, is also said to be the most beautiful part of Japan in terms of both nature and art.

▼ At the unveiling, Pikachu was wearing a Kaga Kimono made with techniques the region is famous for

Since the reason these lids are donated to local governments around the country is to help promote the charm of each region, that’s probably a good choice because up until now I never really thought about how Kanazawa has a lot of gorgeous traditional architecture and scenery.

And since Ishikawa is the 29th of 47 prefectures to get at least one Pokéfuta, we can look forward to finding out which of the over 1,000 Pokemon will be chosen for the rest of Japan and why.

Pokéfuta Information
National Crafts Museum / 国立工芸館
Address: Ishikawa-ken, Kanazawa-shi, Dewamachi 3-2

Source: Twitter/@pokemon_pdc, Pokefuta, Pokemon Daisuki Club, The Pokemon Company,  Golden Times
Top image: Pokefuta
Insert image: Press Release (Unless Otherwise noted)
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