According to various media outlets, the “world’s largest public toilet” opened outside of Tokyo on April 6. Designed by architect Sou Fujimoto, the single-seater toilet, with its views of plum, peach and sakura trees, allows visitors to enjoy some beautiful scenery in Chiba’s Ichihara City while literally answering nature’s call. A glass toilet cubicle, protected by a 2-meter-high wall, is set in the middle of a 200-sq.-meter garden of potted rape blossom plants. The greenery may look a little thin now, but a bed of clover is in the works.
If you want to get technical, it would appear that the enormous Egyptian-themed public toilet in Chongquing, China, which has 1,000 toilets over 32,290 sq. meters, takes the prize for the largest, if it is indeed still in operation. At the least, Chiba’s toilet might qualify as the biggest individual public toilet cubicle. Naturally, the word “why?” springs to mind. “The area around the station has an incredible natural beauty,” said architect Fujimoto in an interview with NHK. “We wanted for those who used the toilet to enjoy this scenery and that feeling of release.”
Before you set off for the wilds of Chiba, it should be pointed out that this toilet is, rather unfairly, for women only. Men, however, might console themselves with a particular toilet technology developed exclusively for them. Last October, Sega’s Toylets, a digital toilet game, began appearing in the men’s rooms of pachinko parlors, game centers and chain izakayas across the country (it had previously been available only for short trial runs). A pressure sensor in the urinal measures the strength of the pee stream, and this in turn affects the outcome of the mini game displayed on the console above. Men who fancy having a go at one of Sega’s Toylets can consult the Toylet website, which has links to the shops and restaurants where the devices have been installed.