That’s Life Anew
WASHLET® and me

TOTO showed their true colours as a pioneer in innovative concepts and products for public toilets in their collaboration on the unique Nippon Foundation project, the TOKYO TOILET PROJECT. Find out more about Nippon Foundation’s THE TOKYO TOILET project and the role TOTO and WASHLET® play in it.

Frau läuft in ein öffentliches Toilettenhaus Location: Yoyogi Fukamachi Mini Park | Creator: Shigeru Ban

Where the TOKYO TOILET PROJECT started


Launched in the massive metropolis of Tokyo with millions of residents, this project is unique in ensuring the highest standards of hygiene for public toilets. And there’s a good reason why this type of project would originate in Japan of all places.


Japan is considered one of the cleanest countries in the world. Even public toilets are held to a higher standard of hygiene here as compared to many other countries. Toilets are one symbol of Japan’s famed culture of hospitality, otherwise known as omotenashi. People in Japan also widely consider public toilets to be dirty, dark and unsafe.

A white toilet house. The front wall is curved. The lowest point of the wall is only near the floor. Behind it are the entrances of the toilets. Location: Nishisando | Creator: Sou Fujimoto

To combat these preconceived notions, the Nippon Foundation worked with the municipal government in Tokyo’s Shibuya district to have 17 innovative public toilets designed and built there.


The Nippon Foundation is a connecting point for social innovation, bringing companies, non-profit organisations and administrative bodies together to work on solutions to society’s issues.

A toilet house that looks like the entrance to a maze. Location: Ebisu Park | Creator: Masamichi Katayama

New possibilities for Tokyo’s public toilets


For the TOKYO TOILET PROJECT, 16 prominent architects created 17 public toilet facilities, employing modern planning approaches and innovative designs to make them accessible to everyone. The project aims to promote a more inclusive society. All public toilet users should be able to use a safe, clean toilet at any time of the day or night – whatever their gender, age or physical ability. It’s a splendid example of how excellent design and creativity can create new possibilities for society.

Illustration of pictograms for whom this toilet is suitable. Location: Ebisu Station, West Exit | Creator: Kashiwa Sato

The overarching theme: Japanese hospitality


In addition, the TOKYO TOILET PROJECT ensures that people who use the toilet feel comfortable by improving how these facilities are maintained and managed. Part of the Japanese culture of hospitality involves cleanliness. When it comes to public restrooms, this means ensuring that the toilet is clean and welcoming for the next user. Also, maintaining the highest possible standard of hygiene and cleaning the facilities regularly with the appropriate products is essential.

A white toilet house in the shape of a hemisphere. Location: Nanago Dori Park | Creator: Kazoo Sato

TOTO – extensive experience in manufacturing innovative, sustainable bathroom products


This is why they decided to work with TOTO, the world-famous and highly experienced producer of bathroom products. TOTO was able to take on a key role in this project, supporting the creative minds in developing solutions that would make using public toilets safer, simpler and more hygienic.

Three compartments of a toilet next to each other. They are blue, yellow and purple. You can see through the outer walls to the inside of the toilet. Location: Haru-no-Ogawa Community Park | Creator: Shigeru Ban

All project sites are equipped with TOTO’s innovative, sustainable products. The planners prioritised aspects like hygiene, universality, touch-free operation and user-friendliness when selecting the products. After all, each individual facility was designed to bring the idea of omotenashi, or hospitality, to life for everyone who uses it.


In the future, we’ll take a closer look at some of these facilities – so you can see what makes them so exceptional. Stay tuned to learn more about what are surely the world’s most unique public toilets.

Illustration of the inside of a clean public toilet. Location: Jingu-Dori Park | Creator: Tadao Ando

Take a look at more of those unique public toilets

Exterior view of the toilet house at night.

Location: Ebisu Station, West Exit | Creator : Kashiwa Sato
A white toilet house with a curved roof.

Location: Ebisu East Park | Creator: Fumihiko, Maki
Exterior view of the toilet house from above. The plan gives the impression of a labyrinth.

Location: Ebisu Park | Creator: Masamichi Katayama
Interior view of the men's restroom in Ebisu Park. The walls are in wood look.

Location: Ebisu Park | Creator: Masamichi Katayama
Toilet in Haruno Ogawa Community Park. The panes, of blue, yellow and purple sections are milky and opaque.

Location: Haru-no-Ogawa Community Park | Creator: Shigeru Ban
The interior view of the men's room. The walls are made of blue glass.

Location: Haru-no-Ogawa Community Park | Creator: Shigeru Ban
Exterior view of the toilet cottage in Jingumae. The cottage looks like a garden shed.

Location: Jingumae | Creator: NIGO®
Exterior view of the toilet in Nabeshimashoto at night. The outer walls are surrounded with logs. The building is illuminated.

Location: Nabeshima Shoto Park | Creator: Kengo Kuma
Exterior view of the toilet in Nanagodori. The house is in the form of a sphere. The sphere is illuminated from below.

Location: Nanago Dori Park | Creator: Kazoo Sato
Exterior view of toilet in Nishisando, close up of women's toilet.

Location: Nishisando | Creator: Sou Fujimoto
Exterior view of the toilet in Ursando. The house has concrete walls and a roof made of copper.

Location: Urasando | Creator: Marc Newson

An article by

Anja Giersiepen

Senior Manager Marketing