Privacy gone public? Tokyo Park unveils new transparent toilets but…

Public toilets are usually shielded from the public with walls or fabric but changing the concept, a Tokyo Park has allowed new toilets, which are transparent and the public are welcoming the sight of these as they are not transparent once occupied.

Made with special glass, the cubicles are opaque when they are not occupied, thus saving the sight of insiders for onlookers. Otherwise, it is completely see-through, with sinks, urinals and toilet bowls in full public view.

Designed by architect Shigeru Ban as part of the Tokyo Toilet Project, which is backed by The Nippon Foundation, a non-profit organisation, the new toilets in public spaces are intended to change the public perception of toilets as creepy or unhygienic. “It would be great to see the Tokyo Toilets become a model for toilets not just in Japan but across the world,” Nippon Foundation Program Director Hayato Hanaoka said.

Inside the park, visitors are welcoming the sight, though. “It’s really cool, but it wasn’t very relaxing,” said 28-year-old Arisa Komori, who told her friend and had used the toilet. Many agree that seeing inside the toilets made them feel safer about using them.

“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,” said Chieri Kurokawa, 36, who lives nearby and had brought her two young sons to play in the park.


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