Tourist taking a public tour in Japan.

Who knew a movie could cultivate Japanese tourism!

A surge of excitement surrounds Tokyo’s public conveniences, thanks to the attention they’ve received in Wim Wenders’s film, Perfect Days, which tells the story of Hirayama, a Tokyo toilet cleaner, and has been nominated for an Oscar.

Now, the Shibuya district is capitalizing on this attention by offering tours of its architect-designed public facilities, featured in the film, to curious visitors.

Bidets always attract visitors!

These hi-tech toilets have always intrigued visitors with their heated seats, bidet functions, and automatic flushing. Now, with the added allure of appearing in a renowned film, international interest in Tokyo’s public restrooms is booming.

Shibuya authorities are seizing this opportunity by organizing tours of 17 architect-designed facilities, including those by acclaimed architects Tadao Ando and Shigeru Ban.

The tour takes participants through the east or west of Shibuya ward, where they can marvel at the architectural marvels that are the city’s public restrooms. Designed to blend seamlessly with their surroundings, these facilities offer not just functionality but also aesthetic appeal.

From Kengo Kuma’s wooden structure in Nabeshima Shoto park to Sou Fujimoto’s Vessels and Fountains, which doubles as a public handwashing facility, each restroom is a testament to innovative design.

The Japanese respect and appreciate a good dumper!

The Tokyo Toilet project, a collaboration between various stakeholders, aims to change the perception of public restrooms as dark and dirty places. With the completion of the project last year, media attention has focused on Shigeru Ban’s colored “smart glass” toilets, designed to ensure privacy and cleanliness.

During the tour, participants also learn about the rigorous cleaning and maintenance schedule that keeps these facilities in top condition. Cleaned three times a day and checked monthly by a “toilet consultant,” these restrooms are not just clean but also wheelchair accessible.

The success of the Tokyo Toilet project is evident in the increased satisfaction among users. A survey found that satisfaction levels have soared from 44% to nearly 90%, while negative views of public restrooms have plummeted. This transformation is not just about functionality; it’s about instilling civic pride in something as mundane as a public restroom.

For tour participants like Yuriko, the experience is worth every yen. With a fascination for toilets, she was drawn to the tour after seeing it on the Tokyo Toilet project’s Instagram account.

“It’s not just that they’re clean and modern,” she says, “they’re really stylish too.”

In a city where public restrooms are not just necessities but also attractions, Tokyoites can take pride in their commitment to transforming these spaces into sources of civic pride.

Don’t worry poopers! We just caught wind of the Tokyo Toilet project as well so we will surely be diving deeper into this Japanese delicacy in the near future!

Ever found a beautiful bathroom or toilet in an odd place? Perhaps you’d like us to do a review or you can always submit a review of your own! We’d love to hear from ya! Shoot us a note! Or drop a comment on this article or any others that flush your senses. 

By Neil

Neil launched Poopable in 2023, making him the Poo Poo Presidente. After overcoming childhood public restroom anxiety, one of his proudest accomplishments is relieving himself on six continents and over two-dozen countries. His preferred bathroom includes a neutral scent, double ply toilet paper and a strong industrial flush. His trade secret to making any restroom poopable – baby wipes.