Sunday, September 23, 2012

Scenic convenience
We hear of a Tokyo architect, a compassionate lady who, saddened by the prospect of men forced to relieve themselves in public restrooms while staring at a blank wall, has made it in a point in the buildings she designs to position the men's rooms so that men standing at urinals look out over a pleasant urban view, preferably with some greenery.
Well, Tokyo takes care of its own. Not everybody knows, though, that all the thousands of aptly named convenience stores* in Tokyo are required by law to provide restrooms always open to the public.
                                                        -V. S. Heliotrope

*Convenience stores ("combini" in Japanese) are scattered throughout Tokyo, like at almost every stoplight. They sell things that you forgot to buy, like batteries, lightbulbs, rubber bands, staples, twine, shoelaces, cotton working gloves, sleazy magazines, and boring but very cheap sandwiches to be washed down with a can of beer while sitting on the curb.