Manhole Monday: Kurashiki

Kurashiki is a lovely canal town in Okayama Prefecture that doesn’t always get the press it deserves. It has a beautiful neighborhood (the Bikan district) of old rice storehouses that have now been converted to shops, museums, restaurants and comfortable ryokan (traditional inns). Boats drift lazily down the central canal while willows on the bank sway in the breeze.

None of those things happen to figure onto the town’s manhole cover though. Rather, this is what I found on Kurashiki’s streets:


Wisteria (known as fuji in Japan) is a short-lived flower. Much like the cherry blossom, it only blooms here for about two weeks. When it does, hordes of people descend on those few gardens that happen to boast a wisteria trellis.

In Kurashiki, there is a lovely shrine – the Achi Shrine – that sits on the top of the hill behind the Bikan district. Not only can you get really nice views of the canals and the old storehouses from here, but there is a 300-year-old wisteria here that has been designated a natural monument.

4 thoughts on “Manhole Monday: Kurashiki

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  1. Even after living in Japan for years, I never really noticed the manhole covers until I saw your blog. Then, on my recent visit I spotted great ones everywhere I went. Thanks for opening my eyes! Perhaps I should have taken a few snaps for you? Maybe next time…

    1. My husband used to laugh at me when I’d yell at him to stop the car so I could shoot a new manhole cover. Now he just sighs and pulls over every time I go “Oooohhh” when we enter a new town. 🙂

  2. I love this one. I lived in Wisteria Hall my first year of college. We had beautiful Wisteria all around the front door and other places around the building.

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