Mr. Toilet House

Earlier this year I had a couple of days stopover in Seoul, South Korea, en route back to Canada from Australia.

I’d heard through various sources on the web that there existed a unique museum dedicated entirely to the loo in the southern province of Gyeonggi-do, known as Mr. Toilet House (local name: Haewoojae). It goes without saying that I needed to see this place for myself.

During the 1990’s, the then-mayor of Suwon City, Mr Sim Jae-duck, was well known for promoting and beautifying South Korean public toilet culture. His passion for the potty was so rich that in 2007, he completely redesigned his house of 30 years into the shape of a toilet seat. Upon Mr. Sim’s death in 2009, the house was donated to Suwon City, who converted the building to a Toilet Culture Museum the following year in his honour.

The museum takes up two floors – the first floor is a permanent exhibition featuring interactive displays, documents and toilet-related materials that offer an insight into the toilet culture movement around the world; the second floor is a temporary exhibition hall which also houses a number of photos and artefacts dedicated to the life & times of Mr. Sim. A Toilet Culture Park surrounding the museum was opened in 2012 and consists of scores of artworks & historical toilet displays from across the ages – not to mention dozens of hilarious photo opportunities for well-humoured tourists!

After quite some time on the train from Seoul it took me a further 40 minutes to walk to Mr. Toilet House from Sungkyunkwan Station. I spent a few hours wandering around the museum & surrounding parklands and was quite fascinated with the many toilet-related exhibitions, sculptures and paraphernalia within its grounds. Highlights included a giant golden poo by the museum’s entrance, the toilet located in the centre of the building with a transparent glass window that becomes opaque at the flick of a switch, and the many toilets around the parklands that have been converted into colourful mini flower gardens.

I’d definitely recommend Mr. Toilet House to any visitor to Seoul who has an interest in unique/eccentric tourist attractions. It’s a little out of the way to travel to on public transport, so set aside half a day if you decide to make the trip. In the meantime, you can check out some of the photos from my visit below!

Mr. Toilet House (Haewoojae)
Website: http://haewoojae.com
Phone: +82-31-271-9777
Address: Jangan-ro 458-9, Jangan-gu, Suwon-si, Gyeonggi-do 440-310, South Korea
Opening hours: March-October 10:00 – 18:00, November-February 10:00 – 17:00. (closed on Mondays, Jan 1st, Lunar New Year’s Day and Korean Thanksgiving holidays)
Admission: Free!

 

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A statue of Mr. Sim Jae-duck graces the entrance to the Mr. Toilet House museum

 

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A set of toilet flower gardens in front of the museum

 

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Some humorous artwork on the wall surrounding the park

 

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A toilet cross-section all decked out with a bunch of flowers

 

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One of the four toilet flower gardens at the front of the museum

 

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A young bronze fellow in a rather curious looking pose… more of these coming later

 

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This is the toilet in the centre of the building with a transparent window, where you can “meditate or appreciate the garden from inside”. All it takes is the flick of a switch ……

 

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…… and there’s your privacy!

 

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A brightly coloured urinal surrounded by white scrawlings in the paint

 

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Same thing but with a toilet

 

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Dr. Shit wrote a message for Mr. Sim

 

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There’s nothing like some children’s poo-themed artwork to brighten up the corridors

 

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Some more bathroom art from the hands of the little ones

 

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The giant golden poo at the front of the museum

 

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Some kids having a great time playing on the giant golden poo

 

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The (useable) kids toilet in the front grounds of the Toilet Culture Park. Just wait til you see inside.

 

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How about this for a kids toilet!

 

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An interesting sculpture, to say the least

 

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“This urinal looks like an animal with its mouth open, showing humorous creativity” – apparently these were common from 18 BC to 660 AD

 

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This is the “Night Soil Pail Shaped Door” – basically, an enclosed space where you can take a selfie standing in front of a poo-stained wall

 

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Another bronze gentleman in an awkward pose

 

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I loved this little toilet garden!

 

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This is an example of a Tumak Toilet, a shack-style restroom found on Ulleungdo Island

 

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A modern European urinal known as Duchamp’s Fountain

 

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Depicting a scene from rural Korea

 

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I’m not too sure what was going on here

 

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Many more bronze statues in various uncomfortable poses

 

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Even the flora descriptors were shaped like a poo

 

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Contemplating life

 

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Another toilet garden

 

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One final look at the front grounds of Mr. Toilet House before heading back to Seoul

 

Have you ever been to Mr. Toilet House? Would you ever visit? Leave a message below if so!

 

BONUS PHOTO: this one is a little NSFW so you need to click through to page 2 if you want to see it 🙂

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