These Tokyo public toilets are making global headlines and for all the right reasons

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These Tokyo public toilets are making global headlines and for all the right reasons - We The World Magazine
Glass exterior reveals toilet is empty, making it safe for use at night (Image courtesy of Tokyo Toilet Project)

Shigeru Ban an award-winning architect, assisted by many other designers, has designed ‘transparent toilets’ in public parks in Tokyo as a part of the Tokyo Toilet Project. And of late they’re making global headlines.

The ‘transparent toilets’ created a stir among people who came to know about it and legitly amassed public attention for being clear (it’s a toilet).

People are wondering how would it feel to use a washroom with a 360-degree view of the surrounding via a transparent glass. But beneath the looks, these transparent boxes of glasses pack many thoughts in it.

The queries were partially cleared when it was revealed that the toilets would remain transparent when not in use. When a person would use the toilet, ‘the smart glass’ would automatically turn opaque.

The otherwise transparent toilets become opaque, as someone reserves it, and becomes transparent again once emptied, making it a source of light at night (Image courtesy of The Nippon Foundation)These Tokyo public toilets are making global headlines and for all the right reasons

The smart glasses are tinted in cyan, neon green, light blue, purple, or even pink.

They look pretty attractive plus they serve to debunk the two most viable fears of the public related to the public toilet- ‘The first is whether it is clean inside and the second is that no one is waiting inside’.

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

Look how unmissably cool these ‘public toilets’ look like when it is being used by someone as they become opaque (Image courtesy of The Nippon Foundation)
Once the toilet is left vacant, he glass turns transparent again, giving an unbarred view of the inside (Image courtesy of The Nippon Foundation)

The non-profit organization named Nippon Foundation had taken up this innovative project to clear the typical image of public toilets from the minds of people. And these transparent toilets are not the only design they’ve commissioned.

Even though Japan has the cleanest public toilets as the nation’s cleanliness is world-famous, Japanese people are also trapped by the so-called toilet phobia.

Public toilets around the world are dotted with bad odor, stains, and poor hygiene. This project is in reality meant to act as a counterintuitive move to reverse the common conception about public toilets.

The transparent glass will actually keep the toilets visible when not in use which will remove any anxiety from the minds of a person in need of using the toilets.

Sometimes regular public toilets, especially at night, can be dangerous for people, women in particular from anti-social and threatening activities. But these fantastic specimen is a simple kick in the butt of potential abusers.

Apart from this reason, the toilets will also beautify the area in which they are installed. “At night they light up the parks like a beautiful lantern,” a spokesperson of the project said in a media statement.

View of the Tokyo public toilet from inside (Image courtesy of Tokyo Toilet)
Image of Tokyo Toilet from inside, which are disability friendly and Ostomy and baby friendly (Image courtesy of Tokyo Toilet)

These toilets were designed keeping in mind the aim ( as stated by the foundation)- “that people will feel comfortable using these public toilets and to foster a spirit of hospitality for the next person.”

The toilets are currently installed in Shibuya, at Japan’s Yoyogi FUKAMACHI MINI PARK – an important commercial area in Tokyo. The foundation plans to install more of the creatives geniuses in various other places in Shibuya.

It is indeed an interesting project and we hope they successfully serve the purpose for which they were built. Do let us know your reactions to the same.