‘Let’s do lunch’ …in the toilet


Terrified of being seen alone, students eat in toilets
IHT/Asahi: July 7, 2009
… a notice banning the consumption of food in university toilets is more sad than scary. A little research sheds light on a growing phenomenon: Some students are so lonely they shut themselves inside toilet cubicles to eat. The notice, with the same message, the same design and the same warning but with different school names, has been posted over the last few months in toilets at numerous universities. “The following activities are banned in toilet stalls,” says the notice, citing smoking, graffiti and eating. All schools flatly deny putting up the warnings, raising the question of who did it and why. ….
…. it is better to eat in a toilet than to be perceived as friendless and spotted dining alone in the school cafeteria…more…

This odd habit is called “benjo-meshibenjo-meshi googlesearch, literally toilet meal. Although this is being reported as “news” it has been a long-time phenomenon in Japan. Photos of this notice banning the consumption of food in university toilets have been posted for several years (see the photos below dated 2005 and 2007, respectively).

I have noticed over many years that reclusive salarymen hiding in the toilets at lunchtime to eat and hide from coworkers.

Recently because of my mega-broken leg, I have come to curse these wacko hikikomori (social isolates) because they tie up the few rare handicapped toilets that exist. I would love to put up such fake signs. I can imagine that the reason for, “all schools flatly deny putting up the warnings,” is that students are making the fake signs to mock the crazy behavior of the toilet lunchers.

keiou-lunchingcrazy signs
toilet bento
Story idea and link thanks to “Mulboyne”.

Published by


I'm a pale, alien, quadruped who has worked for 25+ years at "Maybe-the-Largest Inc." in Tokyo.

5 thoughts on “‘Let’s do lunch’ …in the toilet”

  1. Guess what? I clean my bathroom of my house with the faces of Japanese people!
    I do this in order to save money.
    So far, I used many Japanesefaces to clean bathroom from my house.
    All Japanese! Thank you, thank you, for being really cheap slaves

  2. This place is just like a toilet! Entrepreneur converts men's public lavatory into cafe
    –Original details have been kept, including the cast iron entrance and porcelain urinals–
    –The owners say the venue is spotless and hygienic after it was jet-washed–
    –Gourmet sandwiches are created by a Michelin-star chef–

    dailymail.co.uk | 2013Mar11
    The Attendant Café, on Foley Street, West London, has been thoroughly cleaned and refurbished to make it comfortable for customers to eat in. The café, which opened on February 18, still features the original Doulton & Co. 1890s porcelain urinals which have been converted into individual booths for people to sit at.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>