Tokyo Toilet Tour (Available through Viator)

The location map from the Tokyo Toilet Project website
The location map from the Tokyo Toilet Project website

A tour of toilets may sound like a crazy activity to do, but the some of the top names in the Japanese architecture joined a project to redesign public restrooms in Tokyo's Shibuya district. If you are fans of Japanese contemporary architecture, then this will allow for a quick sample of the different styles of each of the architects.

 

The names include Tadao Ando, Fumihiko Maki, Kengo Kuma and Sou Fujimoto. Industrial designer Marc Newton also contributed to this project. The first of the new toilets began appearing in 2020, and with the completion of Fujimoto's new toilet near the Park Hyatt Hotel, all 17 that was planned is now complete.

 

Despite all being within the borders of Shibuya-ku, the toilets are fairly scattered throughout the ward and requires some planning to visit. 

 

The project has gotten some renewed interest after they were featured in the film "Perfect Days" by the German director Wim Wenders. In the film, Koji Yakusho plays the role of the cleaner of these toilets. Yakusho won the Best Actor award in the Cannes Film Festival for his performance.

 

The tour will go through some of the other highlights of the city, such as Shibuya, the Yoyogi Park and Meiji Shrine. It will be a tour of Tokyo from a unique perspective. If you are interested, the program can be booked through the Viator platform.

https://www.viator.com/tours/Tokyo/Customized-day-tour-of-Tokyo/d334-177290P1

 

To learn more about this project, visit the Tokyo Toilet Project website 

https://tokyotoilet.jp/en/

Sou Fujimoto (Nishi-sando, opened Mar 2023)
Sou Fujimoto (Nishi-sando, opened Mar 2023)
Shigeru Ban (near Yogogi Park, also see note below)
Shigeru Ban (near Yogogi Park, also see note below)
Toyo Ito (Yoyogi Hachiman area)
Toyo Ito (Yoyogi Hachiman area)

Marc Newson (Kita-sando area)
Marc Newson (Kita-sando area)
Kashiwa Sato (Ebisu Station west)
Kashiwa Sato (Ebisu Station west)
Fumihiko Maki (Ebisu area)
Fumihiko Maki (Ebisu area)

Kengo Kuma (Nabeshima Shoto Park)
Kengo Kuma (Nabeshima Shoto Park)
Tadao Ando (near Miyashita Park)
Tadao Ando (near Miyashita Park)

The yellow cubicle in the middle remains out of order (May 16th, 2024)
The yellow cubicle in the middle remains out of order (May 16th, 2024)

Note on Shigeru Ban's "Transparent Toilets"

Originally, the cubicles were transparent when there is no one inside. It uses light control film and when electricity is running the glass remains transparent. The glass would become opaque when the door is locked.

 

Soon after its completion, unexpected problems with this system occurred during colder weather when the glass would take an extra few seconds before fogging. After complaints on social media, the city decided to keep the cubicles permanently opaque from mid October to mid May.

 

Update May 16th, 2024

Confirmed on-site that the transparent feature is back! It should remain this way until mid October.