Japan has made the public toilets with transparent glass walls which turn opaque when the door is locked from inside in Tokyo. Amazing, isn’t it?
Japan has astonished the world with its marvelous inventions, creativity, and technological advancements for ages.
Continuing the same thread of inventions, the Japanese government has introduced another new and very useful technology for the public, in a district of the capital city Tokyo.
Public Toilet Project is an initiative taken by the Nippon Foundation that is a non-profit grant-making organization of Tokyo, Japan.
It is aimed at launching secure public toilets at 17 different places in Tokyo’s Shibuya district. Three of them have been launched so far and have received unusual attention from people all over the world.
Unique and Elegant Design:
The famous, award-winning Japanese architect Shigeru Ban designed these public toilets for the project in Tokyo. The project was organized by The Nippon Foundation, which redesigned 17 public toilets in the neighborhood.
These public toilets are not just useful but they also serve the purpose of beautifying the parks they are located in.
They have been at first installed in two parks of the Shibuya District. Which are named as Yoyogi Fukamachi Mini Park and Haru-no-Ogawa Community Park.
The beautiful lights in the walls of these public toilets become a pinnacle of shine at night time and look beautiful from far away. The walls give away vibrant color’s lights; green, purple, red, blue and orange.
A resident of Tokyo named Tomoko Mizutani, who was taking pictures of these toilets. When asked to share his views said: “It’s really clean, and it sort of looks like art”.
Hence, people of the area seem to be happy about this new initiative and are hoping that it will work positively in the future.
How they actually works?
It is obvious that everyone needs privacy while doing his or her business. For that purpose, the walls are made in such a way that they turn opaque when the door is locked.
The technology behind the phenomenon is that the walls are filled with illuminant lights. Lights are then connected with a low voltage supply through the electric wire.
When the door is closed from the inside, the electricity connection gets disconnected and the walls go opaque and provide the privacy to the user.
Basic reasons behind this Initiative:
There were multiple reasons behind this project, and one of them was to eradicate or lessen the fear/problems of people for using public restrooms/toilets in Tokyo.
The government of Tokyo tried to solve the matter and asked their well-known architect’s help in designing something that can help facilitate the public.
The user can ensure before going inside the bathroom that if the bathroom is clean and vacant. The goal behind this motive was to provide restroom facilities to everyone, regardless of gender or disability.
These technologically advanced public toilets in Tokyo will also help to let go of the old stereotypes toilets. As per common belief about the public toilets as they are always considered to be dirty, smelly, and crowded.
The user can look from the outside and know the situation, without the need to peep inside and then know.
Another major advantage of introducing transparent walled toilets would be that it will surely help in reducing the increased rate of theft, snatching, and rape cases at public toilets. The person going inside can make sure while being outside that if someone is in there or not.
Not only that, but it will also lessen the hassle of disabled people and make it a lot easier for them, to use the public restrooms, on their own. So, these male, female, and mixed-gender restrooms are a great facility for users.
Still, the design requires some improvements and modifications:
Looks like the only drawback of these public toilets could be that the user may not feel secure while using it. As a travel blogger Cecilia Lopez from Argentina, when asked about the experience said:
“Maybe I feel a little anxious the first time, like will this work? Is somebody (outside) the glass trying to look inside or something? Moreover, she also said that “But I think it’s more for the fun of it”.
Hence, the walls turn opaque but not completely dark, so as it is just opaque and one can still slightly see the silhouette of the person inside and know what they are actually doing.
Even though it is not that clear or visible but still one can see a bit. This could be an invasion of privacy for people as well.
Also, the walls are made up of glass which makes it a little un-trust-able not only because of its opaqueness but it is fragile as well. Some users may not feel completely safe inside a glass shield.
All these things can cause a trust problem and users may doubt the opaqueness of the glass and be uncomfortable.
Tokyo’s transparent toilets are of great interest to people and have received an overall positive response from the public.
Hence, it is expected that they are to be of value and benefit in the future as well. And hopefully, other countries will also get attracted by these little and great initiatives for the public.
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Amara is an English major, a content writer, skilled in ghostwriting, copywriting, blogging, digital marketing and also dabbles in career counseling and event management. Being a literature student, Amara has a wide variety of interests including research on different political and social issues.