Public Toilets

 
This public toilet in Hamamatsucho has a beautiful traditional tile roof as well as some nice greenery and sakura to give it a lift.

This public toilet in Hamamatsucho has a beautiful traditional tile roof as well as some nice greenery and sakura to give it a lift.

Public toilets in Japan can either be very clean or very dirty. It depends where you are and who is in charge of looking after them. You can also be confronted with squatting style Japanese toilets or the sitting variety Western toilets.

One thing you normally don’t see though are toilets that have nice architecture designed for them. Here is a toilet that has had some money spent in appearances, including some greenery and sakura.

The main structure is below ground, but just the roof pops out onto street level.

The main structure is below ground, but just the roof pops out onto street level.

This is the entrance way going down. There are both mens and ladies toilets.

This is the entrance way going down. There are both mens and ladies toilets.

It was hard to get a clean shot here with the greenery blocking out most of the structure, but then that was the charm of it. A green oasis in the middle of the city.

It was hard to get a clean shot here with the greenery blocking out most of the structure, but then that was the charm of it. A green oasis in the middle of the city.

What is your experience of public toilets in Japan?

11 thoughts on “Public Toilets”

  1. tangentbot says:

    One of the things I love about Japan is that there’s never a lack of clean public restrooms available. Even private businesses don’t mind if you use their restroom here, which rarely happens in the States.

  2. Kris says:

    I’m kind of scared to use public toilets. Mostly the Japanese style because I don’t have the best of joints x.x

  3. Exiv96 says:

    For a country so well-known for its hi-tech toilets, I was surprised by the number of “squat/turkish style” public toilets in Tokyo ! The last time I had seen one was probably in a french camp site, back in the early 1980’s.

  4. Sara Mari says:

    Wow, that is such interesting architecture just for a public toilet. I think it’s a great idea to make toilets look nice, it makes it a bit less scary to enter them haha.

    As you said public toilets run the gamut in Japan, so I’ve had frightening but also pleasant experiences. I really got used to the squatty potties when I was staying in Osaka, and that was also my first time to see completely out in the open urinals (Once in Osaka, and once in Nara).

    In Tokyo I used a bathroom in a nice hotel that had it’s own carpeted powder room with sofas and dressing tables. Also, I now wish we had the oto-hime in the US. Some people really need to use it >.>

  5. whipcracker says:

    Public Toilets, Japan Living http://bit.ly/aIxiSR The only time you find one here, is at a roadside rest stop. And those aren’t always the cleanist. And no such thing as a public toilet in the area around where I live. I really envy Japan for taking the the thought of providing these to the public. Even the ones you go to at the stores or restraunts aren’t always clean either.
    Butt in closing….When you Gotta Go, you Gotta Go. hahaha 🙂

  6. lithiumangel says:

    Hmmm I actually never seen a public toilet in Tokyo or anywhere else in Japan I been to. I think mainly cause it’s probably not as apperant without being able to read Kanji ? All the public toilets in department stores/restaurant etc. were Western sit down types.
    So i’ve never had the chance/need to go for a squat down toilet !

    In Amsterdam public toilets on the streets are two half circle green metal ermm .. covers intertwined so you walk inside and it’s perfectly shielded from outside view and you just take a piss in the hole for it – super crude description I know but ! At least your not squatting and it’s designed only to take a piss.

    Funny thing you cover this particular public toilet; Kevin Cooney pointed it out on Tokyo Eye 2 weeks ago during his photography episode. Great show b.t.w for anybody who likes Japan. It can be seen every Wednesdays on http://www.jibtv.com – Microsoft silverlight install required.

    And whilst you briefly mentioned sakura; we have several inner gardens in our office building which is compromised out of 8 or so towers. Between the towers are gardens, and I noticed today that one had a sakura tree in full blossom ! The rest of the garden was mostly green with a waterfall. Heh ! At least I can take a snap of some sakura without stepping in Japan. (Tough it will look weird walking there with a DSLR for sure .. i’ll bear it tough :P)

    1. shibuya246 says:

      I tried to view that but only got this screen appear. ;(
      [img]http://shibuya246.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/jibtv.JPG[/img]

      Looks like people who are in Japan cannot view the jibtv specials. Makes it hard for us to help promote it, I guess. I thought the idea of the internet was to break down borders and unite everyone, rather than have firewalls around certain countries.

  7. I might be more excepting of less than steller public restrooms if I were in Japan. Can’t you tell how much I want to be there. lol

  8. perridactyl says:

    In my experience, train & subway stations have the worst restrooms! I ONLY use them if I am desperate. This usually means that I have been out drinking and cannot wait until I get home. Otherwise, public restrooms in populated areas are generally OK. The bathrooms on Omotesando dori are nice. haha
    Remember to bring your own hand cloth to Japan because there usually are no paper towels!

  9. Silron'Zem says:

    Hey Hi! Are you italian?

    1. shibuya246 says:

      close, but I am originally from England, with a decent side-trip to Australia thrown in 🙂

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