All About Japan

Keep Your Eyes Peeled for These New Poké Lids

| Art , Pokémon

In December 2018, the beloved Pokémon Eevee began appearing on manhole covers in Ibusuki, Kagoshima Prefecture, in an effort to help promote the city that sounds similar to “Eevee” in Japanese. Since then, Eevee and its Eeveelutions have been spawning on manhole covers around Ibusuki, attracting tourists from around the country.

The overwhelmingly positive response from the public means that other pocket monsters are now being prepped for their own debuts, starting with some of the rock/ground Pokémon, which can now be found in Iwate Prefecture.

The name Iwate combines the words for stone (岩, iwa), and hands (手, te), which is the reason why it’s been chosen as the home of the rock/ground Pokémon, with Geodude proudly raising his fists as a tourism ambassador for the prefecture.

Other pocket monsters waiting to be discovered in Iwate include Onix, Shieldon, Kabuto, Tyrunt, Aron, and Omanyte.

Bug/Rock Pokémon Shuckle has been spotted at Otsuchi, one of the towns in Iwate that was hit hard by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake.

While these gorgeous designs are enough to get any Pokémon fan booking a trip to Japan right now, the biggest reveal is yet to come, with the announcement that Pikachu manhole covers will soon be appearing in Yokohama City, in Tokyo’s neighboring Kanagawa Prefecture.

As the home of the annual Pikachu outbreak, the city of Yokohama is the perfect location for these gorgeous new Poké lids. The two-Pikachu design can be found outside Sakuragicho Station from 5 August, while the remaining four designs – each adorned with two letters from the name “Yokohama” – will be located around the Minato Mirai area for a limited time, from August 5 until September 1.

Adding to the fun is the fact that all the new Poké lids appearing around Japan are also Pokémon GO poke stops, so there’s a chance you might just get to see your favorite Pokémon standing beside its very own real-world manhole cover in the game.

Plans are currently underway to expand the reach of the Pokémon manhole covers to other areas around Japan, with Hokkaido, Fukushima, Tottori, and Kagawa Prefectures set to be graced with new designs in the near future. The initiative, being dubbed “Pokémon Local Acts“, aims to encourage travelers to venture out to some of the country’s more rural destinations, particularly those that have been hard hit by disasters in recent years.

The Pokémon Company, which is responsible for the project, says each manhole design is unique, with only one in existence in the world.

To find out more about the project, including the exact location of the manhole covers, check out the official website here.

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