For most of us, potty time is also private time. Some of us bring a magazine or an iPad to keep us company, but typically it’s just you, your thoughts, and the toilet.
One Japanese restaurant, the Mumin Papa Cafe in Akashi, Japan has gone in a dramatically different route. They’ve filled their bathroom with hundreds of tropical fish, a few turtles, and whole colonies of coral reef to keep you company while you’re doing number two.
At first glance you might think, “But I just couldn’t! There’s no way that I could drop trou and do my business in front of so many spectators!” Don’t kid yourself. I know that you covertly took a whizz in the ocean when you went to the beach as a kid (don’t be ashamed, we’ve all done it), so this isn’t really any different. Besides, you’ve probably seen fish unabashedly do their business in front of you plenty of times. It’s about time that you leveled the scales and let them spy on you for once.
If your second thought was, “Boy, that looks expensive,” then this time you’d be right. The three-wall aquarium cost a staggering $263,000 (30 million yen) to build, so you can bet that dishes at the Mumin Papa Cafe are a little bit on the expensive side. Forty-dollar entrees wouldn’t stop people from jumping in for a bite. I’m sure that most people come for the fish (of the aquarium kind), and stay for the fish (the delicious sushi kind).
One of the nice things about the aquarium is that it should help get things flowing, to to speak. They say that the best way to open the valves is to turn on the faucet and listen to the sound of running water. This aquarium doesn’t replicate the sounds of a waterfall, exactly, but it definitely takes that sensation to a whole new level.
There’s only one catch: no boys allowed. This ladies-only toilet allows the fairer sex to enjoy the sights of aquatic beauty while guys who visit Mumin Papa Cafe get urinals, uncomfortable silence as you and the man next to you do your best to ignore each other, and “For a good time, call Miho Yamamoto” scrawled across the wall in Japanese. There’s no justice in the world!
I’d love to see an equivalent bathroom for guys, or at least have the toilet converted into a unisex potty. Of course, Japan is on the complete opposite side of the planet from me, so it’s not terribly likely that I will have to suffer the injustice of going to the restaurant that’s famous for its aquatic toilet and then being forced to go to the boring men’s room.