City officials in Ichihara, Japan have just opened what they are calling "the biggest public toilet in the world," The Japan Times reports.
They're playing fast and loose with semantics here; what they really mean is that they've built an outhouse on a super giant plot of land for no reason.
The government hopes the toilet, which is only available for use by women, will become a major tourist attraction by virtue of its bigness and weirdness and the fact that its one of the few toilets in Ichihara City that is not a pit toilet located in the train station.
The commode itself, enclosed within a transparent glass cube, appears to be of a pretty standard size. The plot on which it sits measures 200 square meters, the highest known square-footage dedicated to a single public toilet in the world.
The plot is protected on all sides by a 6 and ½ foot wall. For added privacy (and elegance?) the cube features dramatic white curtains, like the type you might fling open as you starred in your very own low-budget music video for an R&B ballad you recorded in the mid or late nineties.
Since a normal-sized toilet can only take up but so much space, enclosed in a transparent glass cube though it may be, developers had to come up with something else to fill the land around the toilet. Architect Sou Fujimoto proposed "a wild grassland area," the walls of which would be lined with trees.
City officials were way eager to get this giant toilet into the public eye, though, so they just picked up like a dozen plotted plants, tossed them down on the dirt, and called it a tourist attraction.
After the first images were released, people were like "Oh, WHAT?"
The Japan Times reports that the toilet cost ¥10 million (about $125,000) to install, and the final product looks unfathomably rough up against that figure.
The city has reportedly promised this is but the first level on the toilet's ascension to inevitable glory. It will totally look like a verdant bewitching grassland just as soon as they make it look like one.
As for its popularity as a toilet, it seems like it's doing okay. Officials actually sound pretty lax about monitoring people's coming and going, considering the building of this ultra expensive giant open-air bathroom is the most exciting thing to happen in Ichihara for some time:
"We often glimpse visitors peeking inside the yard (through the door) and sometimes going in to use the toilet. We don't know any exact numbers, [but] the rolls of toilet paper we installed have definitely been steadily decreasing."
For more pictures of the toilet (they reeeeeally should have waited until it was a magical grassland), check out Ichihara City's official website.
For a bizarre artist's rendering of what the toilet definitely does not look like, peep the Japan Times story.