A $2 Million Restroom? These Are The Luxurious Restrooms in Japanese Highway Rest Areas

More amazing restrooms on highways

Since the Japan Highway Public Corporation (or simply JH, as in Japan HIghway) disbanded in 2005 and was divided into three private companies, rest areas across Japan have drastically changed. One of the three companies, NEXCO Central, now leads in terms of providing high quality restroom services.

Recently, restrooms brought with latest technologies are appearing at rest areas controlled by NEXCO Central.

NEOPASA Surugawan-Numazu’s Restroom
NEOPASA Surugawan-Numazu’s Restroom

NEOPASA Surugawan-Numazu rest area (Shin-Tomei Expressway, Tokyo-bound)

NEOPASA Surugawan-Numazu, famous for its castle-like appearance, has a restroom that makes you feel like a princess.

Located on the second floor, this unique restroom hosts an oval mirror, stylish lighting, creating a soft and glamorous atmosphere that stirs up a woman’s heart. One of the most popular features is the powder room, where each unit has its own divided space.

NEOPASA Shimizu rest area (Shin-Tomei Expressway)

NEOPASA Shimizu has restrooms that have won the “Toilet Awards Japan – Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport Award”.

What’s amazing is the number of toilets. This restroom has all the latest facilities such as a comfortable lobby space, universal design, and a clean, easy-to-use powder room. But other features caught the judge’s eyes. The reason this restroom won its award is that the designer used a big amount of data that shows the usage rate of restrooms, and determined the optimal number of toilets based on that.

Not too many nor too few, calculating the right number of toilets that does not create a queue was evaluated by the judges.

The same method was also used at other rest areas on Shin-Tomei Expressway.

Nihondaira Parking Area (Tomei Expressway)

The first rest area to have a modernized restroom was this Nihondaira Parking Area.

Ceiling lights were used to create an open and bright space, with having a comfortable and functional lobby. Also, flooring material was changed from conventional tiles to rubber, like that used in department stores, in order to keep the area clean at all times.

The number and layout of the restrooms have also been significantly changed to avoid congestion.

EXPASA Ashigara rest area (Tomei Expressway, Nagoya-bound)

This rest area is experimenting with a “cleaning request” button that will send a staff to you when you need one.

When the button is pressed, a staff member will arrive in just a few minutes. After checking some spots needing cleaning, that staff will immediately clean up the space, which only takes about 15 minutes.

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NEXCO Central has been working on conducting the ultimate in restroom beautification.

Using an original cleaning agent to remove odor from pipes and septic tanks that are inaccessible to human hands. The cleaning agent, which eats up urinary stones, is made by bacillus natto, yeast, and lactic acid bacteria. Once used, their number increases to enter sewage tanks, and eat away the source of odor.

This special cleaner was developed based on “Ehime AI” cleaner, which the manufacturing method is disclosed by the Ehime Institute of Industrial Technology. It is said to be very effective, with almost no odor remaining after one month.

Rest areas in Japan are more extensive than any other country in the world, and I’m sure that more unique toilets using the latest technologies will appear in the near future.


It's like a hotel lounge! The restrooms at the Kariya Highway Oasis are gorgeous!