Shibuya sells off toilets to highest biddders

Perfect location for Japan Tobacco to sponsor. Everyone already has the product out advertising it for them.

In order to raise cash for the local Shibuya area, the Shibuya Council ward have decided to sell the naming rights to 14 public toilet locations in Shibuya. Normally naming rights are associated with sports stadiums or buildings and according to the local Shibuya official in an interview they said “we looked around but could not find any other examples of this”.

Perfect location for Japan Tobacco to sponsor. Everyone already has the product out advertising it for them.
Perfect location for Japan Tobacco to sponsor Everyone already has the product out advertising it for them

5 year lease contract

The Council is looking to set a lease period of 5 years for the naming rights and expect to commence the operation from April this year, 2009. The company that bids and wins the rights to individual locations will have the right to display their company name and product names or billboard type advertising at the locations. They will also be able to use land in another 7 locations for billboards.

Whilst money is a consideration in awarding the rights, the Shibuya Council will also review the bidders plan for keeping the facilities clean and tidy. Many of the facilities are old and so the Council hope they might get improvements made also through this campaign.

Sources: Asahi Newspaper (Japanese edition),, Shibuya Keizai Shinbun, Shibuya Council documentation.

Number 3 on the official list of Shibuya toilets in need of sponsorship
Number 3 on the official list of Shibuya toilets in need of sponsorship

Application Details
The bids were able to be submitted from last month, January 30th and will close this month on the 13th February. If you are interested in bidding you can contact the Park department of Shibuya Council on 03-3463-2876.

Here is a link to the application form for the toilet naming rights: – Has list of 14 locations on it.

Possible International Marketing Appeal – Novelty Marketing
Many of the toilet locations are in very well known places and have a large population of people who congregate around them either waiting for others or just finding somewhere to smoke.

The locations will be valuable in advertising products to local consumers.

Also, the idea of a company or organisation sponsoring a toilet sounds quite newsworthy and it may actually attract an international and diverse audience to the company’s products and services.

Official List
Here is the official list of toilets available for sponsorship:

Japan Tobacco, ?
Whilst JT, Japan Tobacco, is obviously a prime candidate for sponsoring locations it may be interesting if a foreign firm was to make a bid to sponsor a toilet. On a totally unrelated topic, have recently formed an organisation to help develop and promote the blogs of those who are writing about Japan. One of the aims is to increase the amount of media exposure given to blogs on Japan and Japan related articles. All those interested are welcome to join for free. No experience needed, plenty of assistance and support available.

Not wanting to get the wrong type of exposure, being around the toilets, but it may be worthwhile for to consider putting in a bid for one of the toilets in Shibuya. It would certainly get some international attention. Maybe the toilet could go hi-tech and have a digital tv screen hooked up to the internet showing the blogs of members.

Shibuya Yokocho toilets – Ahead of their time

I took a picture a while ago of a rather strange toilet which is close to Shibuya station. This is actually not a public toilet, but a private toilet for patrons of Shibuya Yokocho Nonbei. They could be seen as the forerunner to advertising in combination with the toilet. At night the neon light appears above the toilet to direct people to the restaurants. Very convenient!

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