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Japan opens toilet museum… seriously

But it’s not the world’s first

Gandhi famously once said that sanitation was more important than independence. And while that’s unreservedly true, is there anyone who really wants to spend any more time in a lavatory than is absolutely necessary? Well, a toilet maker in Japan thinks there are, and has opened a new museum dedicated to a century of lavatories to prove it.


Now, if there’s any country in the world that should have a museum dedicated to the development of loos it should probably be a nation whose modern toilets don’t just double up as bidets, but also warm your seats, dry your backsides, emit deodorisers, and all while playing a tune.


So perhaps Japan’s leading toilet maker, Toto, is onto something. After all, Japan’s high-tech toilets earn regular special praise from foreign tourists and even celebrities, like Madonna and Will Smith, and the modern seats are even among the most popular items targeted by Chinese tourists.


Opening its doors today in the southwestern city of Kitakyushu, Fukuoka Prefecture, where the firm is based, the free museum will be a monument to the history of its toilets, from its first water-flushing model to its most cutting edge version with variable water jets, The Japan Times reported.


According to the paper, the firm said there are also remakes of washrooms that Toto supplied to major buildings across Japan, including the famous Tokyo State Guest House and a luxury hotel made for the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games.


Believe it or not, the Toto toilet museum won’t be the world’s first such facility; in New Delhi, India, the Sulabh International Museum of Toilets has been exploring and sharing the history of hygiene and sanitation for 25 years, and is a popular tourist attraction for locals and foreign tourists alike.


Still want more? How about toilets in Japanese elevators? Or what about a restaurant in which you dine out of mini toilets?


Would you be interested in visiting a toilet museum?


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Written by: Mark Harada
Published: 4 September 2015

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