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The Story of the Sick Japanese Toilet in Shinjuku

Mamerto Adan is a feature writer who is back in college once again. Science is one of his favorite topics.

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There was a recurring joke among our gang back in college. Imagine this. You ate too much, you drank too much, and suddenly your stomach is having an internal conflict. Minutes go by and the condition worsens, but you attempt to hold it. Eventually you cannot take it anymore, for soon things will get really messy. Hence, you rush to the toilet to let it go, but as you settle yourself to push the toxic waste out, something terrifying happens. A horrid ghost pops from nowhere, and you found yourself trapped. You want to run, but the poop needs to come out. You are confused, panicked, frightened, and having a diarrhea at the same time. Between a Sadako type ghost crawling towards you, and your bad stomach, you just don’t know what to do!

We always have a good laugh whenever the joke was brought out, but beyond the laughs we all agreed that the joke was sick. We can’t imagine what would happen to us if a ghost cornered us while doing our businesses. On the bright side, the chance of being haunted by a ghost in the toilet is zero. It’s about as real as getting chased by Jason Vorhees. But much to our horror, a toilet somewhere in Shinjuku, Japan did just that.

And our sick toilet humor just comes to life!

Seiryumon Restaurant Chain

Night scene in Shinjuku.

Night scene in Shinjuku.

I always admire Japanese culture, and I wish to visit the places there. But there is one place I won’t dare to set a foot.

To begin with, there is a special ward somewhere in Tokyo, Japan. A place known as Shinjuku. Literally, Shinjuku translates to “New Inn Ward,” and today it’s a major commercial center. The view says it all, with a bustling skyline sharing a place with Mt. Fuji in the background. It also boasts the busiest railway station in the world, the Shinjuku Station. And sure enough, a vast and booming city has a lot of popular destinations to offer. And going back to that place I won’t visit, that said location is the terrifying toilet of this restaurant.

Seiryumon is a chain of restaurants that offers a myriad of oddities. And throughout Japan, it has several branches, each exhibiting a unique form of weirdness. The one in Ikebukuro resembles a Chinese castle, but the Seiryumon Ten and Chi Shinjuku branch in Lemina building is modeled after an opium den. The reason for which is hard to understand, and I searched the net for more information about the said restaurant. Indeed, I found a brief mention, and the first impression is enough to raise brows.

The Shinjuku Branch

Imagine taking a pee...

Imagine taking a pee...

Upon reaching the Ten and Chi branch in Shinjuku, the first thing that will greet you is an odd dungeon-style door, complete with an animatronic guard peering out from the barred window. For first timers, it offers a brief preview on what’s inside. Now, the Shinjuku branch is unique for having two floors. The name of the branch, Ten and Chi means “heaven” (Ten), and “earth” (Chi), and indeed, its two floors offer varying motifs of Opium dens, with one floor having heavenly aesthetics, and the other featuring hellish interior. More oddities will come your way when you dine in, including a collection of light shows and weird mechanical figures coming to life in random areas of the place. The figures sitting next to you will sing, sometimes with the staffs participating, or with the diners requiring to join. For some, the experience is unique and intriguing. For others who want to dine in peace, it may drive them nuts out of annoyance.

Dining is one hell of a ride. But a trip to the toilet is another.

It seems that the Seiryumon restaurants have a penchant for strange toilets. There are stuffs like urinals with large men that flapped their mouths when you flush the toilets, or a mustachioed figure that bangs its cymbals as you relieve yourself. And going back to the Shinjuku branch, guys will pee at a urinal shaped like a mouth, being held by a figure of a multi-armed man. The figure will sing as the urinal swings when one starts to do his business. Shockingly, the figure holds a camera in one of its hands, that will flash when you are finished.

First timers have to endure such an experience, but an even greater horror lurks in the stall.

The Horrific Toilet

Another view of TenChi.

Another view of TenChi.

In keeping up with the hellish theme, the lady’s restroom has a demonic feature that will surely do more than tingle the spine. If you need to do a business in the toilet, it will be advisable to do it quickly, or never look at the wall. Because on the wall has a gigantic head nicknamed “TenChi.”

Now, gigantic is an understatement, because the whole head basically spans from ceiling to floor. So, trying not to look is impossible. Even worst, the head sculpt is the stuff of horror. Kudos to the designer though, for giving it great details that brought out the sick expression of the head (it even had skin blemish). And thanks to the unique head sculpt, it appeared eerily uncanny. The sunken eyes even made it more terrifying. In fact, it appears that the head is watching you with malicious intent.

A realistically detailed head that covers the whole wall, and wearing an evil expression is not a comforting sight to ladies doing their businesses. And what might wonder why it has puckered lips.

Well, you should stay away from the toilet if you are claustrophobic.

The head , when viewed head on.

The head , when viewed head on.

I will say it again, this restroom is not for the claustrophobics. If you are familiar with this horror film plot device, where one is trapped and getting crushed to death by the wall, then that’s exactly how the head functions. Thankfully, it only meant to scare and not to kill you, but still the effect is terrifying. Once you are seated, the giant head comes to life by slowly moving towards you. The sunken eyes also have mechanical lids that move. As if that’s not enough, a loud drunken song will play as the head advances, further darkening the mood. And it won’t stop until the puckered lips kisses your knees.

And yes, the bathroom stall is also dimly lit.

Overall

The experience might not be for everyone, yet at the end of the day it’s all about style and selling points. Indeed, the restaurant chain might exhibit a bunch of horrific oddities, but it earned a loyal fandom. And online reviews actually admire the food being served. Admittedly, the concept is good and unique. And who knows, future restaurant chains might follow the creative concept of the Seiryumon, though I won’t recommend recreating the restroom.

References:

1. The Most Terrifying Toilets In The World. (2021, February 04). Retrieved from https://starshinescribbles.medium.com/the-most-terrifying-toilets-in-the-world-8aab9df5480c

2. Alou, Albert (n.d.). "Sick Japanese Ladies Restroom Prank Sure to Terrify". Weird Asian News.

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