What the London Underground/Tube can learn from the Tokyo Metro : Free Clean toilets PLEASE

Londonist had published an article some time back comparing the London Tube and the Tokyo Metro. I have stayed in Tokyo for over 16 years and for business reasons I regularly travel to London and board the Tube/Underground. I personally feel the blog Londonist made a shallow attempt to “compare” these services and declare London a winner. Londonist has some wrong data too used, but I do not want to get into that in this article.

I have extensively used both the services and at a fundamental level both do a very good job taking commuters from point 1 to point 2. I feel there is a lot both of them can learn from the other. Although Tokyo Metro has strong 4G network, access to free WiFi at all stations, I think from a fundamental requirement perspective the availability of PUBLIC TOILETS STANDS OUT the most.

Finding a public toilet at ANY Tokyo Metro station is pretty easy. Just look for the restroom signs on the platform or the vicinity of the station and you will be guided to Western and Japanese style toilet without even the need to ask anyone. I got down on the Kudanshita Station the other day and took a few snaps. Clean and beautiful experience. EASY TO LOCATE, FREE, REASONABLY CLEAN, ALL STATIONS

You will always find Men, Women and the step free multi functional toilet for physically disabled commuters with additional baby changing facilities. Rest rooms in Tokyo Metro are reasonably and relatively cleaner than the ones on the London Underground Stations.Tokyo Metro and London Tube - Tokyo Metro Tozai Line - Kudanshita StationTokyo Metro and London Tube - Tokyo Metro Tozai Line - Kudanshita StationThe restrooms in Japan also have dispensing machines for paper tissues, towels and a face mask too.
Tokyo Metro and London Tube - Tokyo Metro Tozai Line - Kudanshita StationA soap at the wash basin, a regular thing in Tokyo with winters also seeing alcohol bottles to help stay clean of influenza and cold viruses. Tokyo Metro and London Tube - Tokyo Metro Tozai Line - Kudanshita StationComparing this Tokyo experience with my experience in London
[1] SOME stations in London DO NOT HAVE toilets. Some stations like BANK have sign boards saying “No toilets at this station”
[3] At Westminster when I went at morning 08:00 the toilet was chained and closed. They are not in sync with the time when the trains are running and HAVE FIXED OPERATING HOURS! See the below snap at 08:00 a.m. at Westminster StationWestminster Closed Toilet, what do i DO??The London Underground website publishes a map where there are toilets and where are the Paid ones. The coverage can be called at the best 50%. For toilets in case they are closed and chained as above, the direction is that find a member of staff who will assist you. That’s inconvenient.
London Underground and Tokyo Metro comparison
The underground map which shows which stations in central London have toilet facilities.
What the London Underground/Tube can learn from the Tokyo MetroLONDON is a beautiful place and last time I got on to the London Eye for the first time in the many years of my travel to the city (the below snap). It can be further convenient if the Tokyo Metro restroom infra is replicated in this beautiful city.
London Westminster from London Eye

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