When you hear the words ‘world’s largest toilet’ you’re probably going to think of a hilariously oversized toilet pan that would probably go disastrously wrong if you tried to use it for its intended purpose. Given that the ‘world’s largest toilet’ is in Japan you’d be forgiven for thinking that the toilet would be a loo fit for a giant, after all we’ve seen Japan do some pretty unique things in the world of toilets. No, instead this is a regular sized toilet, so what makes it the ‘world’s largest’? It’s the area surrounding it that gets that accolade, turning your toilet going experience into one to remember – for all the right reasons!
Ichihara City in Japan’s Chiba Prefecture proudly launched its new public toilet back in May last year, spending an incredible 10 million yen on it (over £65,000!). It’s claiming that it’s the world’s largest, and they may well be right as it’s 200 square metres in size. That’s not the toilet itself though, that’s a simple loo that sits in a glass box. This sits in a centre of a fenced off open air area filled with rows of flower boxes. For a few minutes you are at one with nature, assuming your body will let you. You may get the feeling that it isn’t a private area, but the high fence means that nobody can take a peak and you taking a leak. If that doesn’t comfort you though there is a curtain that can be pulled around the inside of the glass box, although using that will be defeating the object of the whole experiment.
Unfortunately the toilet is currently only open to women, apparently done to slash demand for using the toilet in half, although the toilet’s designer Sou Fujimoto would like that to change in the future. He spoke to the Japan Times about why he designed the toilet;
“I thought it would be quite interesting. Public lavatories are something both private and public, so designing them can be a very motivating challenge for architects,” explained Fujimoto in an email interview. “I was also enthusiastic about the fact that Itabu Station is surrounded by such wonderful wildlife. I thought it was a great opportunity to rethink the relationship between architecture and nature.”
He also says in the future the garden will do away with potted plants and become a “wild grassland area with trees lining the fence”. So you’ll by eventually becoming one with nature by being one with nature… erm, or something like that.
Would you use this toilet? Or should Ichihara City stick to the boring and bland regular public toilet?