TOTO, a leading Japanese sanitary ware company, has announced a new exhibition at its Concept gallery space in Clerkenwell, London. THE TOKYO TOILET Project (an initiative of The Nippon Foundation) will feature 12 exemplary projects by leading architects and designers including works by Tadao Ando, Shigeru Ban, and Kengo Kuma. This unique project will be exhibited at TOTO Concept Gallery in Clerkenwell as part of CDW 2022.

TTO tell us Japan is one of the world’s cleanest countries. Even public toilets have a higher standard of hygiene than in other places. Nonetheless, people try to avoid using them as many are considered dark, dirty and scary. To dispel these misconceptions, the city government in Shibuya – one of Tokyo’s 23 districts – started working with the Nippon Foundation in 2020 to build new public toilets or renovate existing ones. The 17 small structures were designed by 16 renowned architects and designers. They all feature modern, inviting architecture and hygienic, accessible sanitary facilities. This is also an expression of Japan’s world-renowned hospitality culture or Omotenashi – in this case, people think about ensuring that the toilet is clean and fresh for the next person to use. As Japan’s leading manufacturer of sanitary ware, TOTO is contributing its expertise to suggest fixtures and layouts in each toilet.

THE TOKYO TOILET Project wants visitors to enjoy a friendly, clean public toilet at any time or day or night. TOTO supported the creative minds on the project to explore what would make using a public toilet safe, simple and hygienic. Ensuring maximum accessibility was also important: All people should be able to use public toilets at any time, whatever their gender, age or physical limitations. It’s also important to ensure the highest possible standard of hygiene with the appropriate products and regular cleaning.

Extensive research

When working on the new concepts, TOTO explored what would make using a public toilet both safe and comfortable for people.

All inclusive

An important aspect was ensuring that people with disabilities could use public toilets easily, including the consideration that those in wheelchairs need extra space. At the same time, bathroom stalls that are too large can be uncomfortable for the visually impaired. The studies also took into account the needs of parents with small children as well as the elderly.


TOTO provided information about regular maintenance and cleaning, including details about sterile, antibacterial fixtures. By November 2020, seven of the 13 planned projects had been completed – including ones in Ebisu Park (architect: Masamichi Katayama Wonderwall), Jingu-Dori Park (architect: Tadao Ando) and Haru-no-Ogawa Community Park (architect: Shigeru Ban).

“We hope that the project will give international visitors the opportunity to experience a sense of Japanese hospitality. We also hope that we can introduce the culture of clean, comfortable toilets created by TOTO to the rest of the world,” read the statement from Satoshi Shirakawa, Executive Vice President and Representative Director TOTO Ltd.