Tokyo Now Has Transparent Public Toilets

by : Emily Brown on :
Tokyo Now Has Transparent Public ToiletsThe Nippon Foundation

Tokyo now has transparent public toilets – but don’t worry, people won’t be able to see you doing your business. 

All in all, public toilets are pretty gross. Obviously some are cleaner than others, and I appreciate it must take a lot to maintain them, but when hundreds of people are using them every day – there’s only so much you can expect.


One of the worst things about an unclean public toilet is the disappointment and nausea you feel when you enter it, bursting for a wee, to find that the seat is covered in God-knows-what, the last of the toilet paper has been used to clog the bowl and the floor is suspiciously sticky.

Take a look at how Toyko is tackling the issue here:


Most of the time in these unpleasant situations you have to grin and bear it, knowing that people will get up to all sorts when they know their mess is concealed behind a door. But what if people were able to see exactly what state the toilet was in when you left it?


That’s kind of the idea behind Tokyo’s new loos, which have been created by The Nippon Foundation to dispel stereotypes that they are ‘dark, dirty, smelly, and scary’.

With the Tokyo Toilet Project, the organisation plans to renovate 17 public toilets located in Shibuya, Tokyo, in cooperation with the Shibuya City government.

Public toiletPixabay

The toilets are being designed by ’16 leading creators’, and will use ‘advanced design’ to make them accessible and appropriate for all users, regardless of gender, age, or disability, to ‘demonstrate the possibilities of an inclusive society’.


Footage of the newly renovated structures shows that when unoccupied, the walls of the toilets are transparent, meaning users can see what’s in store before they go in. As soon as the door is locked, however, the walls become opaque, giving the user the privacy they deserve.

Describing the creation, The Nippon Foundation said:

There are two concerns with public toilets, especially those located in parks. The first is whether it is clean inside, and the second is that no one is secretly waiting inside.

Using a new technology, we made the outer walls with glass that becomes opaque when the lock is closed, so that a person can check inside before entering. At night, they light up the parks like a beautiful lantern.


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As well as using transparent walls to encourage cleanliness and respect from users, the organisation has arranged for the toilets to have ongoing maintenance to further ensure people feel comfortable using them and to ‘foster a spirit of hospitality for the next person’.

While the idea of a transparent toilet is an odd one, it would likely lead to a much more pleasant experience on the whole.

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: Life, invention, Now, Toilets, Tokyo


The Nippon Foundation
  1. The Nippon Foundation