A still from a video of the new transparent public toilet in Tokyo.

  • Two see-through bathrooms have been installed in public parks in Tokyo, Japan.
  • They are made from coloured "smart glass" so people can see how clean they are inside before using them. The glass then turns opaque when the bathroom is locked and in use.
  • The toilets are part of a project that is redoing 17 of the city's public bathrooms with different designers to make them accessible and for people to want to use them.
  • The goal is to fight assumptions that public toilets are "are dark, dirty, smelly, and scary," said the nonprofit foundation behind the project.
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Tokyo has installed two see-through bathroom facilities in public parks, allowing people to see how clean they are before deciding to use them, at which point they turn opaque.

The bathrooms are made of coloured "smart glass," which then "turns opaque when locked," said Shigeru Ban, the architect behind the designs.

You can see how it works here:

"This allows users to check the cleanliness and whether anyone is using the toilet from the outside," he said. "At night, the facility lights up the park like a beautiful lantern."

The bathrooms have been installed in two of the city's parks so far: the Haru-no-Ogawa Community Park and the Yoyogi Fukamachi Mini Park.

The installations are part of The Tokyo Toilet project, which is redesigning 17 of the city's public toilets with different designers.

The project was launched by The Nippon Foundation, a Japanese nonprofit that said it wants "to build public toilets that can be used by anyone".

It said that all of the designs are "accessible for everyone regardless of gender, age, or disability, to demonstrate the possibilities of an inclusive society".

The foundation said that Japan is known as one of the world's cleanest countries, and its public toilets are cleaner than in most places around the world.

"However, the use of public toilets in Japan is limited because of stereotypes that they are dark, dirty, smelly, and scary."

One of the bathrooms at night.

"To dispel these misconceptions regarding public toilets, The Nippon Foundation has decided to renovate 17 public toilets located in Shibuya, Tokyo, in cooperation with the Shibuya City government. "

The see-through toilets, along with some other designs, have been available for the public to use since August 5.

Other designs include a stone building that is designed to look good in parks, and a bathroom with spaces for "men, women, and everyone."

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