Japan's Most Intriguing Toilets - Relax and let the content flow.
In a country known for bathroom innovation (who doesn't want a Toto washlet with a seat warmer in their own home?), Japanese toilets come in all shapes and colors. Check out a few of our favorites, Japan's best toilets, found all around the land of the rising sun.
The Shinjuku Robot Restaurant Toilet: Glimmering Gold & Florals
The moment you walk into Shinjuku's Robot Restaurant
, you know that things are going to get a little crazy
, and that truly extends to all corners of the labyrinthian space. Enter the bathroom and the walls shine a metallic gold, with toilets covered in rainbow floral patterns that will make your head spin.
The Shigeya Urinal, Karuizawa: Unconventional Mechanics & a Gorgeous View
Venture over to Karuizawa, Nagano, a mountain resort populated by the summer homes of the wealthy, and you'll find soba shop Shigenoya. The little restaurant is known for its local soba featuring tasty greens, and sometimes handmade mochi rice cakes. The location is quite literally on the border of Nagano and Gunma prefectures, and hanging off the edge of a cliff... which you can see quite well from the men's toilet. Walk in and you'll be faced with a huge window, so you can do your business and admire the gorgeous natural scenery at the same time.
But that's not all that's special about this bathroom. The urinal in the men's room is made with a kettle, so flushing, well, it conjures up images of tea that we'd rather not think too hard about. Users of the women's bathroom don't get quite the same spectacular view, but don't worry, they do get a small fish tank directly above the toilet. Plus, some fake owls staring down from the ceiling. (And anyone can go out onto the restaurant's multilevel deck to get a good view of the natural scenery on the prefectural border!)
2 Togemachi, Karuizawa, Kitasaku District, Nagano
The Nasu Trick Art Museum Bathroom: Confusing Illusions & Effects
The Nasu Trick Art Museum
is packed full of illusionary art, which lines the walls, covers the floors, and even trickles into the bathroom. Go to open the door of what seemed like an empty stall, and you'll see a friendly face staring back at you, offering up a roll of toilet paper. Even if these bathroom buddies are just painted onto the walls, hopefully you don't mind being watched while you're in there.
The Outhouse of the Old Bito Family House: Traditional & Elegant Aritayaki
This urinal is officially out of commission, but the gorgeous craftsmanship means it's still definitely worth a look. It's found in a little bathroom connected to the old house of the Bito family, a beautifully preserved home of a wealthy merchant family in Yosano, Kyoto. The large house sits along the Chirimen Kaido, a street once known as the go-to location for buying traditional Japanese chirimen fabric, and this toilet was once used by customers who came to the home to purchase textiles. That's probably why it's so very elegantly crafted, to impress buyers and keep them coming back!
The little toilet room is connected to the deck of the main house, but juts out into the garden entrance where customers once entered the premises. If you take a look at the pictures onsite, you can see that the traditional urinal once came with porcelain spots for your feet, as well, to keep your socks pristine. On top of that, it's all decorated as Arita ware (or Aritayaki, 有田焼), a traditional form of decorated Japanese porcelain!
Old House of the Bito Family (旧尾藤家住宅)
1085 Kaya, Yosano, Yoza District, Kyoto
Official Page (jp)
So, which bathroom would you most like to try out? Have you seen any other unusual toilets in Japan? Send us some pictures (...of bathrooms not currently in use!) and let us know your thoughts on twitter, instagram, and facebook!
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