Thu, 15 Apr 2021

Flush with success: Tokyo's transparent toilets

28 Aug 2020, 04:37 GMT+10

New public toilets recently installed in two Tokyo parks are spacious and pristine - a welcome sight for any passer-by in need of relief. The only catch: the walls are entirely made of transparent glass.

But users do not need to worry about going about their business in full view of those around. The toilets are made of coloured smart glass which is entirely see-through up until the moment the door is locked, at which point the walls turn instantly opaque.

Designers say the toilets are meant to allow users to check the facilities are clean and unoccupied before entering.

They got a mixed reaction from passers-by.

"It's really cool but I felt uneasy using it," tourist Arisa Komori told Reuters.

"I use public bathrooms a lot. You can see straightaway that there aren't any suspicious people lurking in the toilets, so I appreciate that I feel safer about letting my children use the toilets on their own and wait for them outside," added Chieri Kurokawa, a Tokyo resident.

The toilets were installed as part of the "Tokyo Toilet Project", which aims to reinvent public toilets as cleaner and safer facilities.

The Nippon Foundation, the non-profit group behind the project, says it hopes the new transparent toilets are the first of many.

"I would like people to rethink the concept of public toilets and how they should appear," Nippon Foundation programme director Hayato Hanaoka told Reuters. "I hope this Tokyo Toilet project will be a model for the rest of Japan and around the world."

Orginally published on France24

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