City of Sagamihara, Japan Gets Gundam-Themed Manhole Covers

The city of Sagamihara, Japan will unveil two new Gundam-themed manhole covers for the local branch of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.

In the city of Sagamihara, two new manhole covers are unveiled. Although not newsworthy in most countries, these manhole covers are anything but normal. They are actually Gundam themed.

It is not uncommon for manhole covers in Japan to feature unique artwork. In many cities, manhole covers bear a local symbol or mascot. However, these are some of the first Gundam– themed manhole covers to install. Some essentials Gundam attractions may be about to be released in Japan, but Gundam is certainly not old news yet.

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The city of Sagamihara was chosen for these Gundam manhole covers as it houses a campus of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). It was here that the robotic spacecraft Hayabusa was developed, which landed on an asteroid near Earth in 2005 and returned with soil samples in 2010.

The Hayabusa was the first craft to land and take off from an asteroid, and the first to return samples to Earth. This makes Hayabusa a point of great pride for Japan – and it makes the city of Sagamihara the perfect place to Gundam manhole.

A pioneer robot on a space mission is exactly the kind of material that Gundam is all about. It can also help attract tourists to a place in Japan that they probably wouldn’t visit otherwise. The two manhole covers will be installed near Fuchinobe station and the main gate of JAXA Sagamihara campus. The first will have an RX-78-2 rubber flying along the Hayabusa. The second will be the MS-06F Zaku II Gundam with the SLIM, or Smart Lander for Investigating Moon. Both manholes have “はやぶさの故郷” (Hayabusa no furusato), or “Hayabusa’s hometown”, at the bottom.


Previously, the most popular otaku topic for manhole covers in Japan was Pokemonwith a lot of Pokemon blankets installed all over Japan in recent years. With the launch of Gundam Manhole Project in August 2021, these probably won’t be the last we see. The manhole covers will be displayed at the Sagamihara City Museum from April 13 to May 8, at the Midori Ward Office from May 10 to May 20, and then at the Minami Ward Office from May 24 to June 3 before finally being installed. The promenade between Fuchinode Station and the JAXA campus will also be decorated with space-themed artwork on the street, so that anyone visiting the area can have their own kind of “space promenade”. .


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Source: PRTimes


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