Poké Lid #100 – Machida, Japan - Atlas Obscura

Poké Lid #100

Machida, Japan

Cute manhole covers commemorate the hometown of the real-life Ash Ketchum who created Pokémon. 

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Japan is known for its affinity with unique manhole covers, often decorated with local motifs or popular characters, contributing to a boost in tourism. The Pokémon franchise is no exception to this trend, with the “Poké Lids” project launched in 2019.

Most of the Poké Lids are found outside Tokyo, as one of the project’s main goals is to attract visitors to other parts of Japan, but the suburban city of Machida curiously has a total of six of them. Not only that, these are monumentally numbered #100 and feature major Pokémon from the first iteration of the series, including the three starters, Rattata, Pidgey, Caterpie, and more.

But what makes Machida so special to the Pokémon franchise? The answer is simple: it is the hometown of Satoshi Tajiri, the creator of the franchise, after whom the character of Ash Ketchum—”Ash” being a loose corruption of “Satoshi,” as he is known in Japanese—was named.

Growing up in the not-so-metropolitan suburbs with some greenery remaining, Tajiri enjoyed catching insects as a boy, which inspired the catch-’em-all aspect of the games, and it may come as no surprise that Pallet Town is based on Machida.

Likewise, Serigaya Park, where all six of Machida’s Poké Lids are located, is a haven of trees and streams where you might expect a wild Weedle or Caterpie to appear. It’s a perfect place to commemorate the birthplace of the universally beloved bestiary, a must-visit for die-hard Pokémon fans visiting the real Kanto Region.

Know Before You Go

Visit the official website of Machida City for a map of the park with locations of the six Poké Lids.

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May 23, 2024

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