There’s not really any such thing as a good city to crash your car in. Still, you’ve got to think that Kyoto is an especially bad place to do it. Having been the capital of Japan for more than 1,000 years, there’s nowhere in the country with a denser concentration of historically significant buildings, gardens, and artifacts, so if you happen to slam your car into something, it was probably something important.
Case in point: on Monday morning, a 30-year-old driver crashed into a building that’s registered as Important Cultural Property by the Japanese government. What makes the structure special? It’s the oldest toilet in Japan.
Sure, the toilets in question may not have the fancy heated seats and pulsating jets of butt-cleansing water that modern Japanese toilets have, and are basically just circular holes cut into blocks of stone. That’s understandable, though, because this restroom was constructed in the early 15th century as part of Tofukuji Temple, in what’s now the Honmachi neighborhood of Kyoto’s Higashiyama Ward. See, while an ascetic lifestyle has long been part of being a monk in Japan, even the most stoic of practitioners needs a place to poop, so the temple constructed a restroom, called a tosu, next to its meditation hall,
Unfortunately, at around 9:30 a.m. on Monday, a 30-year-old man who was turning his car around in the temple’s parking area forgot he was still in reverse when he pressed down on the accelerator. Instead of pulling forward, the car zoomed backwards into the tosu, smashing the wooden door to the building and damaging the interior support pillars. There’s a short flight of steps that leads down from the parking area into the entrance to the tosu, which probably added to the car’s speed before it crashed.
▼ A video tour of Tofukuji’s tosu from a few years ago, accompanied by some smooth jazz that seems like just the thing to help you relax and do your business.
By the way, for those wondering about the unusual-looking car involved, it’s a WiLL Vi, a model produced by Toyota from 2000 to 2001. The distinct rear glass styling is supposed to be evocative of a fairy tale princess’ carriage.
It’s been many, many years since the Tofukuji’s tosu has been an active bathroom, and no one was inside when the accident occurred. Still, with the busy fall foliage tourism season coming up soon for Kyoto, the temple is hoping to have the damage repaired as soon as possible.
*Sources: Sankei News via Yahoo! Japan News, *Kyoto Shimbun
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Thanks God there is no casualties, feel sorry for those people who got hit if any. I hope Japan already listed Japan's UNESCO world heritage sites before this accidents.
He get any on him?
It is reported that the guy driving the car had just visited the temple as part of his job working for the Kyoto Heritage Preservation department. Not a fun phone call to have to make to your boss.
Unfortunately, at around 9:30 a.m. on Monday, a 30-year-old man who was turning his car around in the temple’s parking area forgot he was still in reverse when he pressed down on the accelerator.
genius……how do you NOT know the car is in reverse? (Assuming it’s an automatic.)
if he was 75+, understandable……30? Rip this dude’s license up!
i mean it’s already embarrassing driving that style of car in the first place…..
Judging by the picture, he’s in that building pretty deep, too.
How heavy a foot did he have on that accelerator?
He was gunning it from ignition.
That place looks like a dump anyway. And there was nothing about this in the police logs.
When you've gotta go you've gotta go.....
What a bummer!
A very sophisticated place to relieve yourself. Thank God for Meiji Era!
2 Year Old
Was the washlet also totally destroyed?
Yeah, I know the feeling but I've never been that backed up that I wrecked a toilet.
Don't want to disappoint anyone, but there are older toilets in Japan - going back at least to the Yayoi Era.
He must have been desperate to go.
The poop really hit the car then.
@Awa no Gaijin
History is very important, and keeping historical sites is a great way to promote culture, there is nothing wrong with taking care of something that is of interest.
I wonder how they could meditate right when there’s that tosu just beside the meditation hall, of course in ancient times without toilet paper and hand soap. They obviously quickly returned to meditation as is, didn’t they? Anyway, somehow they were used to it all and survived it one way or another.
Damage to historical buildings is always worth avoiding, but I guess that from all the different buildings that could have been hit by a car in Kyoto an ancient toilet is not the worst scenario. It may even help by putting it on the news so some people could get interested in visiting after it gets repaired.
Apparently the driver's job is (was?!) to preserve Japan's cultural heritage!
He won't lose his license unless he was a repeat offender. I'd hate to see what his insurance rate is going to be though as his insurance company will pay big time for rebuilding this old toilet structure.
Thats a Toyota Will Vi, consistently ranked as one of the ugliest cars ever produced. Yup, it belongs in the toilet.
Straight down the crapper.
Probably scared the sh...er, crap out of the monks.
Couldn't this gentleman find a less historical place to and take a pee?
Someone should take a test again!
That's quite the lead foot he had on that accelerator. I think perhaps his driving instructor was a wee bit too lenient on him when they decided to pass him on his driving test.
Seriously? An article with toilet humor?
How far SoraNews24 has fallen in quality.
That's not a toilet. It's a hole in the floor.
As shown in the video, when in use the holes had seats over them but no partitions from others.
Something really hit the fan here.