Public Lavatories in Tokyo’s Toshima Ward get a Make-over to Enhance User-Friendliness

Japan is widely known for a number of things, from their cultural quirks, top-of-the-line cuisine, social discipline, to luxurious toilets in hotels and airports.

Unfortunately, that has not been the case with Japan’s public lavatories. “Most public toilets are old and some of them are scary. Not many people dare to go to them,” shared Asako Miyata, the director of the Inclusive City Promotion Office, which spearheads the Toshima Public Toilet Project, a project run by Tokyo’s Toshima Ward, as shared in a report by the Japan Times.


Tokyo Toshima Ward’s Public Toilets get a More User-Friendly Image with Attractive Designs

Needless to say, Japan’s public toilets have an image problem, and the Toshima Ward is taking the first step to do something about it.

Local authorities introduced the project in April last year as an effort to convert each of the 85 public toilets in the ward’s 160 small- to medium-sized parks more appealing and user-friendly to residents and visitors in the area.

Through this initiative, all those target facilities will undergo renovation for users to enjoy before the project is completed towards the end of 2019.

Furthermore, the said overhaul will also reduce the toilet’s life cycle from 30 to 10 years, along with new cleaning processes to be used to improve upkeep.

And with the functionality already being taken care of, the initiative also intends to give public toilets a “face lift” to turn these communal facilities into works of art or designated “art toilets” for which the community will be proud of.


And to achieve this vision, both professional artists and locals from the community are working together to paint these toilets with murals – either inside or out. The said movement is also an excellent way of bringing communities together to become part of the change, knowing they have contributed something into it.

With the government and residents working hand in hand, the said initiative hopes to create a sustainable change that will benefit themselves, their community, and Japan’s society in the long run.

Eleven art toilets have already been finished, with another batch set to be completed before the end of this year.

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