The Two-Way
5:58 am
Tue May 15, 2012

'Biggest Public Toilet In The World' Now Good To Go In Japan

It's only for women — and only for one woman at a time, it seems.

But officials in Ichihara City, Japan, claim they've created the "biggest public toilet in the world."

As The Japan Times reports, outside the city's train station there's now a fenced-in, "200-sq.-meter plot of land" with flowers, plants, pathways and — "smack in the middle" — a toilet enclosed in a glass box.

"Why make it so unusual?" the newspaper asks. According to an official from the Ichihara City Tourism Promotion Department, "it's hoped that the toilet will become a tourist attraction for visitors to next year's Ichihara City Art Festival, which is currently in its planning stages. The festival is a government-led initiative to improve the area through the 'renovation of public facilities with the help of arts,' which they hope will attract more tourists and boost the region's economy."

The 6 1/2-high wall is supposed to help provide privacy. There also appear to be curtains that can be drawn around the inside of the toilet's glass box.

Cost of this project: About $125,000.

We'll ask before you do: Money well spent, or has it been flushed down the drain?

(H/T to ABC News' Akiko Fujita.)

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.