• The clear public toilets in Tokyo Photograph: Masatoshi Okauchi/REX/Shutterstock
    The clear public toilets in Tokyo Photograph: Masatoshi Okauchi/REX/Shutterstock
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In the great outdoors we all love a loo with a view but some public toilets in Tokyo have taken it to the next level.

These public toilet cubicles appear to offer the promise of blessed relief, but which on closer inspection turns out to be entirely see-through.

That, though, is the design feature behind several toilets that recently opened in public parks in Tokyo.

The “transparent” toilets, created by the Pritzker prize-winning architect Shigeru Ban and more than a dozen other leading designers, are made from coloured “smart glass” that turns opaque when the cubicles are occupied.

The Guardian reports conveniences opened this month in five locations in the capital’s Shibuya neighbourhood as part of the Tokyo Toilet Project, organised by the nonprofit Nippon Foundation.

Using new technology, the foundation said the cubicles’ glass outer walls turn opaque after the door is locked, allowing prospective users to survey the interior before spending a penny.

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