As the kingdom of cute, it should be no surprise that Japan tries to infuse charming aesthetic into as much of its property as possible. Heck, even manhole covers provide a source of artistic satisfaction. And now another unexpected canvas for artwork has surfaced: Gas tanks!

Gas tanks are big and take up a lot of space in a country that tries to be as efficient with use of land as possible. Combined with a Japanese tendency to promote and celebrate local cultural characteristics, gas companies are figuring they might as well have a little fun with their containers. Many of the tanks below feature mascots, characters, and emblems that are famous in their local regions.

Nicotan (mascot of Shibata Gas) -- Shibata, Niigata prefecture


Source: Yahoo

Watermelon -- Tomisato, Chiba prefecture


Source: Yahoo

Zen monk-poet Ryōkan -- Tsubame, Niigata prefecture


Source: Yahoo

"Taisha" wheeled fish toy -- Niigata


Source: Yahoo

Tokkikki (Niigata prefectural mascots) -- Niigata


Source: Yahoo

Soccer ball -- Kiryū, Gunma prefecture


Source: Goo

Ouchi dolls -- Yamaguchi prefecture


Source: Pink Tentacle

Welcome to Isesaki -- Gunma prefecture


Source: Pink Tentacle

Morioka Gas character dancing the Sansa Odori -- Morioka, Iwate prefecture

Source: Livedoor

Artist's conception of Nintendo Kirby tanks


Source: Pddesign

Flowers and butterflies -- Niigata prefecture


Source: Yahoo

Kintarō -- Saitama


Source: Gastank-map

By - grape Japan editorial staff.