One of our Japanese-language reporters, Yuichiro Wasai, was travelling through Ikebukuro Station the other day when something caught his eye. It was a brightly lit, swanky looking entrance that made him think a hotel had popped up on the concourse, but when he looked closer, he could see it was something else entirely: It was a Prime Toilettes.
Despite not knowing the true definition of “Prime Toilettes”, Yuichiro could tell that the fancy French words had something to do with this being a superb toilet. “Prime Toilettes” actually translates to “Premium Toilet” in English, and looking at the panel by the door, Yuichiro found that this one costs to get in.
The large Japanese letters on the panel read, “Men’s Pay-to-use Toilet”, while the layout showed there were three toilet stalls inside, with the lit lamp indicating one was in use. It would cost Yuichiro 100-yen to get inside, so he got out a silver coin and slid it into the slot on the panel.
▼ The option to pay with your Pasmo or Suica card was a nice touch.
Once his coin had clunked into the machine, Yuichiro held his breath in anticipation. What if the toilet inside just looked like any other at the station? He’d never get that 100 yen back now. It was at that moment the automatic doors parted and the bathroom revealed itself to him.
Yuichiro was immediately happy he’d made the small-change investment, as the toilet inside was unlike any you’d usually find at a train station. This looked to be more of a posh hotel standard, with an immaculate cleanliness he couldn’t fault in any way.
▼ Look at those spotless automatic urinals.
▼ And these glistening washbasins.
Impressed with the bathroom, Yuichiro made his way to the toilet stall. As the gorgeous looking toilet beckoned to him, he laid his eyes on what was lying beside it, and was pleasantly surprised to find it was a wall-mounted baby-changing table. This was a rare find in a men’s room, and Yuichiro immediately made a mental note to tell his nappy-changing dad friends about it as soon as he got back to the office.
Then it was finally time for Yuichiro to lay his posterior on the prime toilettes throne. This was a high-end model that basically did everything except talk to him. Although it did thank him for his deposit with a slow close of the lid and a gentle flush afterward, making Yuichiro truly feel like a pampered king.
So was it worth the 100 yen fee? Absolutely. Yuichiro says he would visit the Prime Toilettes again in a heartbeat, and recommends it to anyone who wants to feel like a king doing business at the station.
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