The Tokyo Toilet, citywide

Here’s a fresh angle on Tokyo: a public lavatory tour. The Nippon Foundation has joined forces with Shibuya ward to launch The Tokyo Toilet, a project to replace 17 public loos with individual structures designed by a flush of top architects and designers. Our picks are Shigeru Ban’s transparent boxes close to Yoyogi Park, Masamichi Katayama’s stylish concrete and greenery version in Ebisu Park and Tadao Ando’s cylindrical structure at Jingu Dori Park. Works by Nigo and Sou Fujimoto are still to come before the project ends in spring 2021.

T-House, Nihonbashi Hamacho

Head to Nihonbashi, on the east side of the city, to visit the home of New Balance’s Tokyo design studio, where a team works on the edgier end of the brand’s clothes, shoes and accessories. The shop is on the ground floor; the atelier is upstairs. Schemata Architects has provided a uniquely Japanese home for the studio by way of a 120-year-old kura (warehouse) that’s incorporated into the interior.

3-9-2 Nihonbashi Hamacho, Chuo-ku

Toraya, Akasaka

Japanese confectionery shop Toraya has five centuries of history behind it. In 1869 the business moved from Kyoto to Tokyo where the flagship is a fixture on Aoyama Dori. The old building (from 1964) was replaced a couple of years ago with a design by Hiroshi Naito. Come to enjoy the architecture – Naito is a master with a wooden roof – and stay for a cup of green tea and soft wagashi (traditional sweets) in the café. Be sure to buy a box to take home too.

100-0005 Marunouchi, 1 Chome−9−1

Images: Alamy, Yayoi Kusama. Cover image: Yoshitsugu Fuminari

Go back: Tokyo


sign in to monocle

new to monocle?

Subscriptions start from £120.

Subscribe now






00:00 01:00

  • The Big Interview