Of course there is an app to find an empty toilet stall in a Tokyo subway station

Photo: Pixabay

Not long ago, we saw human faeces terrorising Japanese commuters at busy train stations. It could be done on purpose or sometimes, shit happens, right? Imagine the panic when you are unable to find a toilet or available cubicle in Tokyo’s maze-like train stations! In such urgent cases, this mobile app by Tokyo Metro could lend a helping hand.

What this app does is to let you see at a glance where you can head to to “settle your business”. This service, however, is currently applicable to only Ikebukuro station, from 1 Dec 2017 to 28 February 2018.

The app shows how many cubicles are vacant for the toilets at the Marunouchi line, Yurakucho line, Fukutoshin line, including the pay-to-use toilet at an area called Espace Pause. Screenshot: Tokyo Metro App

How this works is through the sensors installed in every toilet cubicle. The information is then transmitted to the server, which is then displayed on the app. It is kind of like the sensors you see in carparks that turn green when the parking lot is available.

In the app under “Metro Labo 2017”, when you select “Toilet Availability”, it will display the information for the toilets in Tokyo Metro’s Ikebukuro station. In addition, when you click on “Check Location”, the map of the station pops out and you will be able to tell where all the toilets are. Tokyo Metro will be evaluating the use of this service during this trial period to determine whether to extend the service to other stations.

The Tokyo Metro app is free to use and is available for both iOS and Android devices.