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Wednesday, 19 August 2020

Meet the public toilets that are a tourist attraction

Two recently installed public toilets in Tokyo are proving a major drawcard for tourists and locals alike.

The colorful toilets have been installed in parks and are completely see-through when idle, but become frosted and opaque when in use, the Asahi Shimbun newspaper reported.

The ultramodern installations are part of a design project that sees artists and architects creating bespoke, innovative and interesting toilets - a uniquely Japanese fascination. 

The outer walls have been built from a special glass that instantly becomes opaque when the key is turned, granting privacy to the user. 

As well as being public facilities, the toilets serve a secondary function of creating ambiance as the sun goes down.

The toilets are the work of award-winning architect Shigeru Ban and attracted a lot of attention when opened this week in Yoyogi Fukamachi Mini Park. 

The toilets are part of the Nippon Foundation’s project “The Tokyo Toilet” to make public restrooms reborn as a comfortable convenience.

Ban is one of the 16 creators who are supporting the project to remake the image of public toilets and not be thought of as “dark, dirty, stinky and scary”.

Locals have expressed concerned that the walls, which operate through electricity, could become transparent due to malfunctions. But such anal concerns have been dismissed.

During a blackout, the walls will be clouded. 

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