Japan Has Transparent Toilets & The Idea is Actually Pretty Useful

You’ve heard of spanking new toilets.

Rundown toilets.

Butt-spraying toilets.

Utterly desolate toilets.

But transparent public toilets?

That’s probably a first, considering how ludicrous the very notion even sounds.

And yet, ridiculous as it may seem, the concept seems to be more than just a distinct possibility…

Seeing how it has actually been implemented in one of Tokyo’s more popular districts…

In full view of everyone.

Image: Satoshi Nagare/The Nippon Foundation

Now, I get how Japan has certain… fetishes for some things. But this?

Well, we’ll leave you to judge for yourself.

Japan Has Transparent Toilets & The Idea is Actually Pretty Useful

According to CNN Travel, two new sets of see-through toilets have been installed in Shibuya.

Yes, that bustling center famous for this:

Image: japanalytic.com

Designed by Shigeru Ban Architects, a Pritzker Prize-winning architecture firm, the two new sets of transparent toilets have been installed in two Shibuya parks – Yoyogi Fukamachi Mini Park and Haru-no-Ogawa Community Park.

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Apparently, they’re part of an innovative project that aims to shift people’s perceptions of public toilets.


Now I know what you’re wondering.

Doesn’t that count as exhibitionist behaviour, like really extreme exhibitionist behaviour?

Well lest you’re thinking that, don’t worry;

The people of Shibuya will not be witnessing literal shit fests every time they pass by the toilets.

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According to the same source, Shigeru Ban Architects’ design tackles the issue by offering a toilet with glass walls that ‘change’ depending on the situation.

At first glance, the public will be able to see through from the outside.

Image: Satoshi Nagare/The Nippon Foundation

But when a user entered the toilet and locked the door, the walls will swiftly turn opaque to provide privacy.

Image: Satoshi Nagare/The Nippon Foundation

Well, thank goodness.

“There are two things we worry about when entering a public restroom, especially those located at a park,” says a statement on the project’s official website, Tokyotoilet.jp. “The first is cleanliness, and the second is whether anyone is inside.”

“This allows users to check the cleanliness and whether anyone is using the toilet from the outside,” says the statement. “At night, the facility lights up the park like a beautiful lantern.”

Though it should be noted that once inside, you can’t actually tell whether the glass is frosted or not. This is because the walls purportedly have walls installed, which adds to the queer feeling of being on display.


And that’s why it’s imperative that you remember to lock the door. Like really important.

Tokyo Toilet Project

Incidentally, these two transparent toilet sets are a part of the newly-introduced Tokyo Toilet Project, a series of re-invented public toilet facilities.

Founded by the Nippon Foundation, the Tokyo Toilet Project has teamed up with some of the biggest names in the architecture and creative industries including Tadao Ando and Toyo Ito, to build 17 new public toilet facilities around Shibuya.

The foundation will also work with the Shibuya City government and the Shibuya City Tourism Association to sustain these new toilets.

Though of course, the all-important question does beget;


Is the gimmick fool-proof, or could users be potentially susceptible to a fault in the door lock?

Well, I guess only time will tell.

Though for the sake of users, I hope it will never happen.


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