No dining out experience is complete without a trip to the bathroom these days.
It’s become the place where a restaurant makes or breaks their vibe. Not only can it round out a diner’s experience, it can get the restaurant free social media advertising.
Because the bathroom is the most private part of a restaurant, it’s also the part where customers are most likely to take selfies. And if there’s an eye-popping backdrop, customers are more likely to post their selfies to social media and geotag the spot. (We like to call this the “Sketch Effect,” named after the restaurant which became famous for having “the most Instagrammable toilets in London.”)
The owner of Hipopo Papa Cafe on Japan’s Hayashizaki Matsue Coast knows that a bathroom is an investment which can pay back dividends — which is why he reportedly spent almost $270,000 installing an aquarium behind three walls of the restaurant’s toilet.
The toilet is designated for women, but if the restaurant is not busy, staff will guide any customer to the back to admire the marine views. When customers first walk back, it appears that the white toilet is floating in a green undersea world. Some may find it eerie that when they sit down, they’re likely to make eye contact with exotic fish, perhaps even a turtle.
The owner of the restaurant apparently spent years and several attempts trying to recreate the sensation of floating in the ocean while on a toilet. The final product has been around for about 12 years and has proven to be one of the most popular tourist attractions in the area, according to Oddity Central.
Japan is known for having some of the most high-tech toilets in the world. In 2017, the country agreed to standardize its toilet operations because some machines were so complicated, tourists were unable to figure out how to flush.