In Japan, colored-glass public toilets have been installed at two parks in Tokyo’s Shibuya neighborhood. These restrooms become transparent when unoccupied. The design allows potential users to see that the restrooms are clean and empty. On the other hand, the washroom turns opaque once a person locks the door.
“There are two things we worry about when entering a public restroom, especially those located at a park. The first is cleanliness, and the second is whether anyone is inside,” wrote the restroom’s creator, Shigeru Ban, on the Tokyo Toilet Project’s website.
“Using the latest technology, the exterior glass turns opaque when locked. This allows users to check the cleanliness and whether anyone is using the toilet from the outside. At night, the facility lights up the park like a beautiful lantern,” he added.
— Madisons CPC (@RealMadisonsCPC) August 19, 2020
According to Fox News, the Toilet Project has commissioned 15 other creators for this. These creators aimed “to build innovative fresh designs for public washrooms around the city.”
The Nippon Foundation, an organization that launched the Tokyo Toilet Project, said that many know Japan for its cleanliness. However, the foundation used the word “limited” to describe the use of public toilets in Japan. It says the stereotype of public toilets being “dark, dirty, smelly, and scary” caused this.
“To dispel these misconceptions regarding public toilets, The Nippon Foundation has decided to renovate 17 public toilets located in Shibuya, Tokyo, in cooperation with the Shibuya City government,” the organization also wrote.