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Japan is renowned for its public washrooms that are – shall we say – slightly quirkier than others.
Some Japanese toilets are so complicated that they come with a manual and a remote control, for instance. Built-in bidets and heated seats have become fairly standard in smart hotel washrooms, while some Japanese loos glow in the dark, offer a blow-dry function or raise and lower the seat depending on the sex of the user.
The latest odd toilet to come out of Japan is a single, see-through glass cubicle situated in its own dedicated grounds. See-through so that the user can admire her natural surroundings; dedicated grounds to prevent voyeurs from seeing over the fence and into the loo.
Some might wonder why town planners would spend 10 million yen – more than £78,000 – and use up 200 sq m of land to accommodate one female washroom visitor at a time (yes, the toilet is for ladies only). But there is some convoluted logic to the facility.
The ladies’ loo is close to the railway station in Ichihara City where sightseers flock in springtime to experience the region's natural beauty, flourishing cherry trees and mustard fields.
"There used to be no public toilets suitable for tourists' use here," explained an official from Ichihara City Tourism Promotion Department. "We wanted to create toilets that drivers and train passengers could both use."
Considering the fact that users will have to enter the enclosure and trek to the centrally-placed cubicle before using the facilities – stopping to admire the flower beds on the way – it sounds as though officials are not exactly anticipating a stampede of tourists anytime soon.
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Tork is a brand of SCA, Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget. SCA offers personal care products, tissue, packaging, publication papers and solid wood products in more than around 100 countries. For more information, visit www.sca.com
© 2011 SCA Hygiene Products
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