The Tokyo Toilet

John Hill
14. August 2020
Ebisu Park by Masamichi Katayama / Wonderwall (Photo: Satoshi Nagare, courtesy of the Nippon Foundation)

Public toilets designed by Tadao Ando, Shigeru Ban, Fumihiko Maki, and other architects are popping up over Tokyo's Shibuya district. The Tokyo Toilet, as the project is called, is replacing old facilities with fully accessible, eye-catching designs.

According to The Nippon Foundation, Japan's cleanliness is so high that "even public toilets have a higher standard of hygiene than in much of the rest of the world." Regardless, they assert, "the use of public toilets in Japan is limited because of stereotypes that they are dark, dirty, smelly, and scary."

Haru-no-Ogawa Community Park by Shigeru Ban (Photo: Satoshi Nagare, courtesy of the Nippon Foundation)

Enter The Tokyo Toilet, a program by The Nippon Foundation aimed at renovating seventeen public toilets in Shibuya, being done in cooperation with the Shibuya City government. Five of the locations are open as of today: designs by Masamichi Katayama / Wonderwall, Shigeru Ban (2), Fumihiko Maki, and Nao Tamura. Designs by Takenosuke Sakakura and Tadao Ando are set to open in the next few weeks, with the remainder completed by spring 2021.

Yoyogi Fukamachi Mini Park by Shigeru Ban (Photo: Satoshi Nagare, courtesy of the Nippon Foundation)

Per The Nippon Foundation, the toilets are being built by Daiwa House Industry Co., Ltd., with Toto Ltd. advising on toilet equipment and layout. Furthermore, ever-important maintenance of the facilities will be carried out under a three-party agreement between The Nippon Foundation, the Shibuya City government, and the Shibuya City Tourism Association.

Ebisu East Park by Fumihiko Maki (Photo: Satoshi Nagare, courtesy of the Nippon Foundation)

Visit The Tokyo Toilet website to many more photos of the completed toilets, and click here to see a map (PDF in Japanese) to see where all seventeen toilets are located.

Higashi Sanchome by Nao Tamura (Photo: Satoshi Nagare, courtesy of the Nippon Foundation)

Related articles

Other articles in this category