Public toilets in two Tokyo parks are drawing attention due to an unusual design feature -- transparent walls that turn opaque once the door is locked. Photo courtesy of Satoshi Nagare/The Nippon Foundation
Aug. 18 (UPI) -- A pair of Tokyo parks are attracting extra attention for their unusual new features: public toilets with transparent walls.
The restrooms, designed by Shigeru Ban Architects as part of The Nippon Foundation's Tokyo Toilet Project, feature see-through walls that turn opaque when a user enters the facility and locks the door.
The restrooms, installed at Yoyogi Fukamachi Mini Park and Haru-no-Ogawa Community Park, are designed to allow those in need of facilities to quickly determine their cleanliness and whether they are already occupied.
"There are two things we worry about when entering a public restroom, especially those located at a park," the Tokyo Toilet Project's website states. "The first is cleanliness, and the second is whether anyone is inside."
The walls change from transparent to frosted opaque when the door lock is activated.
"This allows users to check the cleanliness and whether anyone is using the toilet from the outside," the website states. "At night, the facility lights up the park like a beautiful lantern."
Users said remembering to lock the doors is of extra importance, since a user inside the facility can't tell whether the walls appear transparent or frosted from the outside.
Each of the two facilities includes a men's toilet, a women's toilet and a mixed use toilet.