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Japan unveils biggest public toilet in the world
Posted on Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Japan is well-known for its emphasis on technology and decadence when it comes to toilets and bathrooms - it seems like the country is always developing exciting new breakthroughs in washroom technology. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that a new toilet, deemed "the biggest public toilet in the world," was recently opened in Ichihara City.


According to The Japan Times, the toilet was made to accommodate a lack of attractive facilities for area tourists to use. Before the new addition, visitors had to use ugly pit toilets that were old-fashioned and unclean. City officials said they're hoping that the new amenity will become a tourist attraction in its own right, especially for those who are planning to visit next year's Ichihara City Art Festival.


"The festival is a government-led initiative aimed to improve the area through the 'renovation of public facilities with the help of arts,' which they hope will attract more tourists and boost the region's economy," states the news source.


So what does the toilet look like? Actually, it's not a massive porcelain structure like you may have imagined. Instead, it's an average-sized toilet situated within a glass box on a 200-square-meter plot of land, reports the National Public Radio (NPR) blog.


Located in front of Itabu Station on the Kominato Railway Line, the boxed-in facility is nestled among dozens of potted flowers and plants, which The Japan Times reports will eventually be planted to create a wild grassland area that will be surrounded by trees. A large wall surrounds the property to prevent peeping Toms, while a white curtain inside the box aims to give users additional privacy.


For now, the toilet is only available to women in order to limit the number of users and therefore create manageable wait times for those who hope to use the facility. However, the designer, Sou Fujimoto, is planning to talk to the city about opening it up to men as well.


"As an architect, I'd rather prefer the toilet was used by everyone, regardless of sex," he said. "That would enable more people to share the experience." Until then, there's another toilet that he designed for both sexes that's located nearby.


If you're wondering how much a massive undertaking like this cost, NPR reports that it was about $125,000. Do you think such a large toilet and price will be worth it for Ichihara City?

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