City hands manhole covers to lottery-picked buyers

Maebashi City in Gunma Prefecture became the first municipality to sell its used manhole covers. It came up with the idea as a measure to promote the city.

On Wednesday, the city handed 10 manhole covers to their buyers, who were chosen in a lottery among around 200 applicants.

Each cover measures 60 centimeters in diameter and weighs 40 kilograms. The covers are of 3 different designs, including one with roses, which are designated as the city’s symbol flower. Each was priced at 3,000 yen, or around 27 dollars.

The buyers who came to receive their manhole covers at a water purification plant in the city included residents of Tokyo and Aichi, central Japan.

The sale of old manhole covers by a city north of Tokyo has attracted many buyers amid the growing popularity in the metal lids featuring designs inspired by local landmarks and specialties. (NHK)

A 31-year-old male driver briefly fell asleep at the controls of a commuter train traveling at 120 kilometers per hour in the Tokyo metropolitan area in September, the railway operator said Tuesday. (Japan Today)

Tokyo police have arrested a 52-year-old company employee for driving through a busy pedestrian crossing near Shibuya Station last week. (NHK)

Police have arrested two men on suspicion of stealing baseballs from a high school baseball club in Saitama Prefecture. The suspects, who were arrested on Monday, were former baseball teammates in junior high school, Fuji TV reported. (Japan Today)

Police in Chofu, Tokyo, said Tuesday that part of a human skull was discovered on the premises of Jindai-ji temple last week. (Japan Today)

A wild boar created havoc in a peaceful residential area in Nagasaki Prefecture on Sunday, terrifying a man in a wheelchair, biting two pensioners and smashing into both a motorbike and a car, police said. (Japan Times)

A handicapped man was hit and killed by a train after he tumbled from a railway station in Takaishi City on Sunday, reports NHK. (

Kanagawa Prefectural Police are hunting for a man who pushed a male commuter from a station platform in Kawasaki City on Sunday, reports TBS News (

Fukuoka Prefectural Police have launched an investigation following the discovery of a dismembered female corpse in a river in Kitakyushu City, reports NHK (

Kanagawa Prefectural Police have apprehended a 60-year-old man after a standoff in which he wielded a knife inside a residence in Yamato City left his former wife, 51, slightly injured, reports the Sankei Shimbun (

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