Everyone knows that the Japanese love their toilets. There are old-fashioned squat toilets which, to some westerners, are the most bizarre lavatories in the country. However, for most people, the country’s futuristic toilets get all the attention. Yet, there is room for both. On the subject of Japanese toilets, there is one undisputed expert. A young woman, named Maritomo, literally wrote the book on Japanese toilets titled Nippon no toire hoka (Japanese Toilets and More). After visiting over 800 bathrooms, here is her top 10 list of fantastic, bizarre, weird, and serene Japanese toilets.
If President Donald Trump ever visits Japan, Tokyo’s Robot Restaurant will be his first stop. Located in the Kabukichō district, that’s the red light district, the restaurant boasts an exquisite bathroom. Both the toilet and urinals are 18-karat gold. There are also dancing robots and women. However, there’s no time to talk about golden showers now.
There is an artistic beauty and subtlety to Japanese gardens. There are three types: Tea, Hill, and Dry. Each allows the viewer to appreciate the majestic splendor of nature. However, the seafood restaurant Resuto Ujō in Fukui Prefecture allows you the special ability to turn a Hill garden into a Wet garden by using the toilet placed among the greenery.
Have you ever been jealous that your goldfish can go to the bathroom wherever it wants? To get over that envy, head to the city of Akashi and visit the Hipopopapa Restaurant. A massive aquarium surrounds the toilet on three sides. The view is so spectacular that most guests forget to lock the door. As a result, the restaurant added a second locked door. What’s the price of a second door when you already spent $180,000 on the rest of the bathroom?
Olympic Ski Jump Toilet
Do you find yourself, every two years, wanting to have the fame and glory of being an Olympic athlete while still getting to sit on your butt? Stop dreaming and start living. The bathroom at the Madarao Kōgen Ski Resort features a spectacular view of the 1998 Winter Olympics Nagano Ski Jump. Most of all, with skis strategically placed at the base of the toilet, you’ll get vertigo as you stare at the ridiculously steep incline and the landing platform hundreds of feet below.
Pee Into The Sea Toilet
Make your own lasting contribution to the pollution in Tokyo Bay. The Aqua-Line has the only bathroom facilities in all of Japan that are surrounded entirely by the sea. As with most things in the country, life is better for the men. They can gaze into the blue waters while at the urinal. The women’s bathroom only has sinks that look out into the sea (and no mirrors!)
To make up for ladies not being able to pee into the sea, it is women only at the world’s largest outdoor bathroom. Located at Itabu Station, in Chiba Prefecture, the facility provides unparalleled views. The walls are all glass but you can draw a curtain if you want some privacy. In addition, the scenery is so impressive that, according to Maritomo, you’ll be so distracted that you forget to do your business.
Wall of Toilet Paper Toilet
We have good news for you and we have bad news for you. The good news is that you’ll probably never find the toilet paper dispenser empty at the bathroom inside Momojirō restaurant in Kyoto. A logistical error led to the establishment receiving 80 extra toilet paper dispensers. However, rather than returning them, the owners decided to install all of them on one of the walls. Each roll is meticulous folded into a triangular point. The bad news: the view is terrible and the fan is noisy.
Have you ever wanted to travel back in time but can’t get your hands on a good time machine? Join the club. You’ll have to settle for the toilets at Tōfukuji Temple in Kyoto. The massive facility can seat 100 people at once and has been around for over 900 years. Unfortunately, it is a culturally significant site and the toilets are no longer available for public use. If you want to squat legally, you need to become a Buddhist monk.
Want to experience the benefits of a Zen bathroom trip without the lifetime dedication to Buddha? Head to Fukuroi in the Shizuoka Prefecture. The bathroom is for use by all people, including visitors, and is in a Zen training house. Located at the center of the room is a statue to a special toilet deity. Ususama Myōō, the deity, is responsible for purifying unholy smells. Make sure to drop some coins in the offering box while you’re dropping the kids off at the pool.
Does going to the bathroom after a delicious meal rev your engine? If not, that’s because you haven’t found the right toilet. We recommend you head over to one of Ippūdō’s ramen restaurants. The location in Aichi Prefecture, home of the Toyota Motor Corporation, features a completely disassembled Toyota engine on the walls.