Shooting by Jiro Takano (Nacása & Partners Inc.)

THE TOKYO TOILET is not only about designing new facilities: it is also about organizing all aspects of the project so that the facilities can be maintained well and used comfortably by everyone.

To achieve this, we have formed a maintenance team consisting of multiple organizations and companies. We will continue to improve our operation, searching for efficiency and the best cleaning methods until maintenance and management are completely transferred to Shibuya City by the end of March 2024.

Cleaning is divided into three categories: daily cleaning performed three times a day; regular cleaning performed once a month; and a special cleaning performed once a year. In addition, the toilets are inspected every month by a third-party toilet consultant. We also hold monthly maintenance and management meetings to monitor the use of our facilities based on daily cleaning and inspection reports and to improve the maintenance and management of the toilets.

  • Dry cleaning
    Since this process uses no water, dry cleaning can be performed frequently, making it easy to maintain a clean and dry environment. It also involves checking for scales, stains, and damage, as well as some brushing and wiping.
  • Wet cleaning
    This process involves using special solvents to remove accumulated water stains, black spots, and overall yellowing that could not be removed during daily cleaning.
  • Special cleaning
    A deep-cleaning of all areas, including exterior walls, lighting fixtures, ventilation fans, etc. It also involves cleaning hard-to-see places like removing leaves from roofs.
  • Regular inspection
    A monthly inspection to check the comfort level of each toilet, including small and large urinals, air deodorization, equipment, ventilation capacity, and ATP wipe test.
  • Special inspection
    An annual inspection to measure ammonia, illumination, temperature, and humidity to provide advice and feedback.

※ For the toilets which are used in a good condition, the frequency of daily cleaning is reduced to twice.

What we value the most in our work is to make sure we don’t cause any harm to the toilet. Compared to indoor restrooms, outdoor toilets must be maintained under harsh conditions that include wind and rain. Toilets that are part of THE TOKYO TOILET are made of various materials such as stainless steel, glass, and painted walls, so it is necessary to find unique and suitable ways to manage each design. To ensure that these public toilets are used for a long time, we are careful to select the right cleaning tools and agents that do not harm the materials. Public restrooms can become dirty if they are not properly sanitized on a regular basis, but people find it hard to spoil something that has been carefully cleaned. We believe that, by keeping the toilets clean every day, users will come to appreciate their cleanliness and think about others who will be using the facility after them.

Cleaning: Tokyo Sanitation Co., Ltd.

We have created a uniform for the staff members who are working every day to clean the toilets, with NIGO® overseeing its design.

The staff have reported that wearing this uniform has helped them interact more frequently with toilet users, with many people approaching them to talk, take photos, and even give them drinks and snacks.


Cleaning staff uniform.

As a third-party toilet consulting agency, we are responsible for conducting scientific analysis from a professional standpoint and providing feedback to administrators. Public restrooms inevitably suffer from equipment defects, odors, and stains that cannot be solved through standard cleaning alone. We use specialized equipment to closely examine facility defects, odors, stains, ventilation, and airflow. We have been inspecting all toilets every month, and because the cleaning staff has been cleaning regularly, selecting the best approach for cleaning each time, the ATP (contamination index) has become much lower than it was at the beginning of the project. We hope to help make beautiful toilets like THE TOKYO TOILET become the standard of public restrooms in the future.

Consulting: Amenity Co., Ltd.


Shibuya City is like a theme park where visitors can enjoy a wide variety of activities. The restrooms are essential facilities that help visitors enjoy their visit to the city. This project, THE TOKYO TOILET, is designed to include more than restroom facilities. Its design reflects the large circle of people involved in the project, including the facility creators, the maintenance staff and managers, and the users who are both locals and visitors to the city. Cities are not developed by the government alone. Private companies and citizens play an important role in the community. THE TOKYO TOILET project can inspire everyone to integrate new designs, which will help transform the surrounding streets and townscape. The restrooms might be small, but they act as a catalyst for the town. I am happy to see our city take on a project that is distinctly suited to Shibuya—a project that considers the ways of a mature city and expresses it in a new and inspiring way. THE TOKYO TOILET allows Shibuya to “turn differences into strengths.” We are starting to see examples of this slogan, even in the city’s public spaces. We will make every effort to maintain and manage this project to protect and foster our city’s uniqueness and character. I am looking forward to seeing how THE TOKYO TOILET will inspire the children, who will become the next generation of town leaders and citizens, to develop their sensibilities as they grow up in this town. If these children can develop a strong sense of how they want this town to be and enjoy the freedom to speak their minds, it will be of great value to Shibuya and to Japan as a whole.

To maintain public toilets that can be used comfortably and continuously, we need the cooperation of each and every person. There have been reports of graffiti and damage at toilets that are used more frequently, such as at Jingu-Dori Park and Ebisu East Park. Public toilets belong to all of us. Let’s think about the next person who will use the facility after you.