lifestyle

We try a pay-to-use premium Japanese toilet at Ikebukuro train station in Tokyo

21 Comments
By Oona McGee, SoraNews24

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.

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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.

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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.

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▼ And these glistening washbasins.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

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© SoraNews24

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

21 Comments
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Actually, as nice as they look, they are exactly the same as you'd see at expressway service areas around Japan. But free. I don't use public transport however I'm sure they are an improvement from free ones.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

From the photos, it looks as if we are paying for the baby changing table. There is nothing in that bathroom that would make me want to pay for it. I don't use public restrooms but I would have probably paid ¥100 just to find out what was inside.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Public toilets at major JR Stations were for the birds as I recall. Often vomit & watery fecal matter on the outer edges of those squat toilets. Underage porn ads strewn about.

I’d definitely pay for those luxury toilets.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Wc62six

when was that? The 90s?

I use public toilets all the time, especially JR, and find no problems at all except for the ones at small parks.

Not only are JR toilets clean, but ubiquitous.

Back in Canada, if you’re out of the house and have to go, you either have to find a department store, or you have to buy something at McDonald’s so they’ll give you the key. Even then, most of the sit-down toilet seats have been peed on. Apologies if you’re eating while reading this.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Why not just write toilet in Japanese? I don't even think Prime Toilettes makes sense. What next, Ladys?

As one poster said, this doesn't seem that different from a good public toilet which is free. Thanks but no thanks.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

This reminds me of something that was written on a wall of a "pay as you go" public convenience many years ago---"Here I sit broken hearted, paid a penny the just farted". Now it's 100 yen!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

your correspondent must come from some village or one of those "low income " areas... most toilets I ever seen around Tokyo, look way way better than this and absolutely free too.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Non for women???

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Silly article and concept. The Midosuji line has the same modern and clean facilities for free to anyone with a subway ticket. It would be worth paying for if it were next to a "traditional" Japanese hole in the floor that doesn't drain.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Looks pretty nice, but the new Tsutaya store near me has (by appearance) even swankier features and design.

But it's a pity the mens has only 2 cubicles as often they are occupied by long-termers, who no doubt use the comfy facilities for marathon reading sessions.

I wonder if there's a time limit on these Ikebukuro loos. Cheap privacy.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Time limit was my thought too. If warm, does it have an electricity outlet... then one might spend the night, watch videos, charge the phone, etc. 100 yen for guaranteed privacy and safety. I can see women use the men’s too.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

One hundred yen to spend a penny? No way.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The last time I saw a pay toilet was like a really long time ago on a U.S. boardwalk in a coastal town. They were so unpopular they were made free again after one season.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Seems for tourist Olympic guests, ¥100 for vending machine , both ends

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Toilets in malls and office buildings in Japan can be beautiful like those in the photos, and you may even want to settle in for a nap or nice long read. But the public ones at JR stations I see in Tokyo are pretty bad. My dad visited from the US once and he needed an emergency #2 pit stop after drinking too much coffee and we got off asap at some random Hibiya line station. When he saw the hole in the floor he went pale. I think he would have paid a new hundred dollar bill at that second for a nice, clean Western commode.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"Prime" means a bonus you receive for doing something in French. I think they messed up and used "prime" from English with "toilettes" from French... I guess they just don't care if it makes sense since most people don't speak French, but it really sounds ridiculous in French like "the toilets you receive for working hard"... uh well.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

“At Ikebukuro train station”?

Far from it. Really. Maybe 5 minutes underground on the west side. The “Ikefukuro” public toilets are closer and free. There’s no obligation to linger and enjoy the ambiance.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Crap story...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Can't wait for some hobo to pee in the coin slot.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Actually, I find the toilets in Japan to be quite acceptable. Here in Honolulu, trying to find a free toilet is virtually impossible. Fast food joints either want you to buy something or they just plain don't let you use them. Restaurants that don't serve alcohol, don't have to provide bathrooms. It's the law here in Hawaii.

Thank God for Walmart in the downtown area.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Restaurants that don't serve alcohol, don't have to provide bathrooms. It's the law here in Hawaii.

I guess that's why the grass smells so ... fragrant... I also read last year about drug addicts camping out in Hawaii bathrooms and attacking a Japanese tourist. That is disgraceful.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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