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 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, please let me know through the contact form!
(please select tour type; Half day customized tour)
You can learn more about this project in the Tokyo Toilet Project website
Note on Shigeru Ban's "Transparent Toilets"
Originally, the cubicles were transparent when there is no one inside. The glass would become opaque when the door is locked. It uses light control film and when electricity is running the glass becomes transparent.
Less than three years after its completion, there is already a malfunction with the system and as of autumn 2023 the walls are permanently opaque. After dark, it is extremely difficult to determine whether the cubicles are occupied or not.
There is no word yet on when/whether this is ever going to be fixed.