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Toilet World

Ever got caught short and had to dive into a bog some where. 

Well, in my time I've seen some great toilets and some that nightmares are made of.  Especially in Asia.

I thought it might be fun to put together a listing of the best toilets in Asia...

Current thinking is I’ll use a 3 part rating:

0 = God awful  (I’m hoping by concentrating on the best there will be few God Awfuls!!!)
9 = Shit hot

*    classic
**   interesting
***  wacky

interesting facts, the views, the technology etc


Phillippe Starck designed toilets  at the Felix (top floor of the Peninsular Hotel, Hong Kong)
9-***-Great views of Kowloon

Cafe Batavia in Jakarta
9-***- check out the mirrors and waterfall that’s actually a urinal!


A piece about...

Yuuji Hayashi is something of a toilet fiend. The Tokyo resident spends most of his free time looking for the city's cleanest toilets. The quest has turned into an obsession that Hayashi shares with the world on his web page, the Tokyo Toilet Map.

 Hayashi's constant companion on his strange odyssey is a palm-sized Casio digital camera. So far he's posted pictures of more than 240 toilets.

 The entire enterprise began in January1996, when Hayashi realized that for much of his life his stomach has sent him scurrying in search of relief. "I'm a shitting machine," he admitted with a laugh.

 He has been sidetracked on his way to college entrance exams, his graduation from Saitama University, job interviews and even his wedding. Since Tokyo's public toilets are notoriously dirty, Hayashi wanted to prepare for future crises by locating clean alternatives all over the city.

 Hayashi also snaps photos of just about everything he finds in the stalls. The 25-year-old has turned up artefacts that include t-shirts, shoes, beer cans, comic books and cockroaches. He's also chronicled several different kinds of signs that say "Closed for cleaning."

 There's an impressive collection of graffiti, including several graphic gay-oriented drawings and the usual random scribblings.

 The fun part of the page is not just the pictures. Each toilet is rated on cleanliness, size, privacy, wheelchair accessibility, and, perhaps most important, the presence of paper.

 And Hayashi uses his own special brand of humour to write a brief narrative of each toilet. (Knowledge of Japanese is helpful). Consider his description of the lavatory in Komagome Station (one of the rare clean toilets): "The station staff must put some real loving feeling into cleaning this place!"

 There's also a toilet navigator, which is a kind of personality test that directs users to their ideal relief station based on answers to five questions. (examples: "Prefer throne or squat?" "Do you mind if the door doesn't close?") I was sent to the toilet near the south exit of Shinjuku Station, where toilet paper is free. "Then why the heck is there a paper vending machine outside?" Hayashi asks. "What a waste of 50 yen."

 Most of the toilets on the page are in subway stations, which is fitting since the train is a way of life for most people in Tokyo. The system reportedly carries 3 billion passengers a year.

 Sometimes that urge hits when you're above ground. In that case, Hayashi notes that hotels and hospitals are safe alternatives, whereas coffee shops and fast food restaurants don't let just anyone use their toilets.

 What if you've really got to go and a McDonald's is the only thing nearby? Don't just barge in and head straight for the facilities, warns Hayashi. Among those in the know, there's a favoured technique: Walk around the restaurant and pretend to look for a friend. Mutter "Hmm. Still not here." Slide into the bathroom as you pass by. Emerge after taking care of business and leave, saying loudly "When are you going to show up?"

 The response among users of the Tokyo Toilet Map has apparently been enthusiastic. Users have e-mailed Hayashi reviews of several hundred toilets from all over the world, all of which he faithfully posts. (No pictures, though). Hayashi says that his page has inspired an Osaka Toilet Map.

 But Hayashi himself is actually not as twisted as you might imagine. In fact, he seems strangely embarrassed about the whole thing.

 "I myself think it's kind of sick," he said after inquiring if foreigners might be disgusted by his home page.

 He was too ashamed to show his page of to his father until recently.

 "He actually thought it was kind of interesting," he said.

 Hayashi says he spends about six hours each weekend updating his page. When he accompanies his wife on shopping excursions, he makes sure to bring the camera along.

 During the week he runs the home page for G-Search, a database company and Internet Service Provider that is a subsidiary of Fujitsu.


Some Useful (?) Toilet Links

 Tokyo Toilet Map nai_e.htm



Toilet Museum

Museum of Toilets tm

Terry Love's consumer report on low flow toilets

How Toilets Work

Restrooms of the future

Doodie Now

 Porta-john (portable toilets)

 Easily the best of the lot. /index.html

 Urinal etiquette -- obviously a subset of toilet information. 

 A web site dedicated to toilet repair. Little did I know that the field had its own name!

 The Sulabh International Museum of Toilets, in New Delhi, India, run by Dr Bindeshwar Pathak, founder of a non-profit sanitation organization. The web page includes the ``elaborate drill for defecation'' as prescribed in the scripture Manusmriti Vishnupuran.

 Answering the question, ``But what if my existing toilet provides inadequate radiological contrast when the patient eliminates waste in a normal position?'' Buy a radiological commode!

 A collection of images ``from our lavatorial heritage.''

 High technology toilet seats, computer-controlled misting units etc.

 Specializing in toilets of Canberra, Australia. dex.html

 A strange collection of toilet icons, and links to elaborate 3-D raytraced synthetic toilet imagery.

A toilet for dogs. Really!

A low-tech trailer-hitch-mounted portable toilet.

An external catheter and leg-mounted collection bag for use while watching sporting events.

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