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Public toilets in Japan - an innovative approach to hygiene rules


Japan, a country known for its primacy in technological innovations, pushes the boundaries of hygiene, setting new standards for public toilets. This archipelago combines unique architectural designs with state-of-the-art technology, creating innovative solutions for hygiene and safety. As a result, public toilets in Japan not only serve a functional purpose but also become elements of the cityscape that stand out with their aesthetics and originality.

Tokyo Toilet Project: Hygiene principles meet top-notch designs

The Tokyo Toilet Project is an excellent example of combining design and hygiene, raising the standards for public toilets. This unique project brought together a group of outstanding creators, including Tadao Ando, Kengo Kuma, and Shigeru Ban, who utilized their skills to create extraordinary public toilets in various locations in the Shibuya district of Tokyo.

These toilets set a new standard when it comes to hygiene, meeting and exceeding users' expectations. But equally important, they are true works of art, reflecting the unique visions of their creators. With their exceptional designs, they stand out from traditional public toilets, providing elements of surprise and joy for those who use them.

The diversity of designs makes each toilet different, but they all share the principle of accessibility. They are designed with a universal approach, meaning they are user-friendly regardless of gender, age, or disability. Their design takes into account the needs of different user groups, creating a space that is safe, comfortable, and accessible for everyone.

One of the most intriguing aspects of the project is how artists can apply their unique style and approach to design, transforming an everyday, often overlooked space into something that is not only functional but also beautiful and inspiring. Each toilet is unique, reflecting the designer's personal approach to design, both in terms of aesthetics and functionality.

These projects demonstrate how thoughtful design can transform public spaces, raising the standards in terms of hygiene and aesthetics. The Tokyo Toilet Project is proof that even the most mundane spaces can become places of innovation and creativity, while providing unique experiences for users.

Shigeru Ban's Transparent Toilets

Shigeru Ban, known for creating architecture using unconventional materials, took on the challenge of revolutionizing the experience of using public toilets. His unconventional approach resulted in the creation of "transparent" toilets that go far beyond the standards we are accustomed to.

These modern toilets, located in parks in various parts of Tokyo, are equipped with glass walls. At first glance, this may seem unusual and potentially uncomfortable for users, but this innovative solution is full of cleverness. When the toilet is not in use, the walls remain transparent, allowing passersby to assess its cleanliness. However, when the door is closed, the glass becomes opaque, providing privacy for the user.

This innovation, although initially surprising, has many advantages. Firstly, it ensures that the space is clean and safe to use - an extremely important factor for the comfort and safety of anyone using a public toilet. Secondly, the use of such a solution also has a psychological aspect - it helps to reduce the stress and uncertainty often associated with using public toilets.

Sou Fujimoto's Toilet - Avant-Garde Design Transforming Public Toilet Space

Sou Fujimoto, a renowned Japanese architect, is responsible for one of the most pioneering projects within the Tokyo Toilet Project. According to Dezeen, the toilet designed by Fujimoto goes beyond conventional concepts, resembling a crystalline sculpture in its appearance.

The key element of this toilet is its walls and roof made of transparent glass, which not only gives it a futuristic look but also allows natural light to illuminate the interior. As a result, the space is bright and spacious, providing users with a sense of cleanliness and freshness.

But the uniqueness of this toilet is not only due to its extraordinary appearance. It is precisely the combination of technology, functionality, and aesthetics that makes Fujimoto's toilet so unique. The use of transparent glass not only emphasizes innovative design but also affects the perception of cleanliness and freshness.

Fujimoto's project demonstrates how the use of modern materials and innovative solutions can transform a simple, everyday space into something exceptional. This toilet is evidence that good design is not just about aesthetics but also about well-thought-out solutions that facilitate daily life and contribute to positive user experiences. This is the true power of innovation in architecture and design - creating spaces that are both beautiful and functional.

Tomoyuki Kurokawa's Project - Combining Public Toilet with Community Gathering Place

The toilet created by architects from Tomoyuki Kurokawa Architects is not only a place that fulfills its basic sanitary and hygiene functions but also a social space, a meeting point, and an information center for the local community. By transforming a regular public toilet into a vibrant space, Kurokawa and his team introduce a completely new approach to designing public spaces.

This innovative toilet is a place where people can interact, exchange information, and integrate. The interior of the toilet is spacious and well-lit, enhancing the comfort of users. Additionally, an outdoor space has been designed, serving as a meeting place with benches and relaxation areas.

When considering this innovative project, it is worth noting that the guiding idea is to transform an ordinary public toilet into a community center. Kurokawa's toilet becomes a symbol of an innovative approach to designing public spaces that prioritize the needs and comfort of citizens.

This space not only fulfills its basic functions but also promotes social interaction and provides important information. In this way, a simple public toilet becomes an integral part of the urban fabric, serving not only hygiene but also community-building. This is evidence that an innovative approach to designing public spaces can bring benefits on multiple levels, surpassing traditional frameworks and expectations.

Interactive Light Show - Tomohito Ushiro Transforms Toilet into Unforgettable Experience

The public toilet project by Tomohito Ushiro focuses on an interactive, sensory experience that not only surprises but also transforms a daily task into something extraordinary. This innovative concept goes beyond the traditional understanding of a toilet's function, presenting it as a space where technology, design, and art come together to create surprising effects.

The interior of this toilet is covered with mirrored panels that reflect the LED lights installed on the ceiling. When a user enters and closes the door, a real light show begins. The LED lights start pulsating, creating a mesmerizing light effect that is reflected from all sides by the mirrored panels. Each entry into the toilet becomes an unforgettable experience.

Through the use of LED lights, Ushiro transforms a routine activity into something extraordinary. The toilet is no longer just a place to attend to physiological needs but a space that engages the senses and provides extraordinary experiences. This project showcases how the thoughtful use of technology can transform public space in a surprising and inspiring way.

This concept is more than just an innovative approach to toilet design. It is also evidence that public spaces, even the most mundane ones, can provide unforgettable experiences if we allow creativity and technology to freely interact. This toilet is a reminder that innovations can impact our daily lives in unexpected places and moments, providing joy and inspiration.


Public toilets in Japan are not perceived solely as places that fulfill basic needs but also as urban elements that can serve the community and improve residents' quality of life. Whether it's Ban Shigeru's transparent toilets, Fujimoto's crystalline sculptures, or Kurokawa's multifunctional spaces, each of these toilets offers unique solutions that transform ordinary public spaces into innovative and user-friendly places.

The most innovative solutions employed in these toilets include automatic cleaning, disinfection, and even self-regulating air conditioning systems that provide optimal temperatures regardless of external conditions. Additionally, many of them utilize sustainable development technologies such as rainwater harvesting, solar energy, and even kinetic energy generated by toilet users.

All of this shows that Japan can combine aesthetics with functionality and technology, creating innovative solutions that aim to improve residents' and visitors' quality of life. Without a doubt, Japan is setting a new standard for public toilets worldwide, demonstrating that even the most mundane elements of our environment can be thoughtfully designed and innovatively crafted to be comfortable and eco-friendly.

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Author: Marcel Apola