*Update: Opening dates have been extended for two more months until September 30, 2019.*
Give us your best constipation face as you sit on the toilet and mimic pushing out a really stubborn poop. These are your instructions upon entering the Unko (that’s Japanese for poop) Museum Yokohama, and that’s only after you’ve watched an animated J-pop music video dedicated to the stuff.
Despite its name, the poop museum in Japan’s second largest city of Yokohama – just 30-minutes train ride south of Tokyo – doesn’t have any actual poop on display apart from the pastel-colored, soft-serve-shaped variety.
The museum is separated into three areas all named with a play on the word unko. Get ready for your closeup with the “Unstagenic” area where you’re encouraged to snap as many pictures with poo as you want, while the “Untelligent” area displays unko-themed artwork. In the “Unteractive” section, step on animated poop projected on the floor to make it splatter, giving a whole new meaning to toilet splashback.
Just in case you needed guidance, here are five ways to fully immerse yourself in poop-themed play at this absolutely silly, sadly only temporary, museum. Also, we apologize in advance for the number of times you’re going to have to read the word “poop.”
1. Take a selfie with poop
Step into a Disney Princess movie from the twilight zone, complete with a poop-themed tea party. The table has been set with a three-tiered cake with poop-shaped frosting waiting for the princess of the turds to arrive. That’s you! This is the “Unstagenic” – ready-made for Instagram – area.
If the offensively pink curtains that look like Barbie pooped herself after chewing a crap ton of bubblegum are too much for you, how about taking a photo in a room with poop flying through the walls instead?
Beyond the “Princess and the Poop” and “Flying Unko” rooms, there’s a “Galaxy of Poo,” and my personal favorite, the “Lovers’ Unko Room” with matching his and her toilets. Aww.
2. Catch the poo-poo rain
Maneuver your video game character (a toilet) around to catch all the poop falling from the sky on the screen. You’ve got about 10 seconds to fill up your bowl, but try not to catch the ice cream cones which take points out of your score! The elusive golden poos will give you the most points. If you’re more into sports video games, try getting the ball (made of poop, of course) into your opponents’ net to score a goal in what’s likely the most hilarious soccer game you’ve ever played.
3. Shout out for poop
At this point, you may be wondering why you can hear people yelling “unkooooo” at the top of their lungs. It’s part of a game where you try to make the biggest unko possible by yelling into a microphone. The microphone measures the decibels of your voice and compares it to the size of famous landmarks like the Statue of Liberty, for example. The louder you yell, and longer you hold the note, the taller your unko gets.
The biggest unko I saw was a guy who yelled for nearly 30 seconds straight – his poop came out as tall as Tokyo Skytree, the tallest tower in the world at a whopping 2,080 feet! The smallest one was giraffe-sized at 20 feet. The Tokyo Skytree dude definitely earned some bragging rights that night.
4. Paint your own poop-caso
Unko speaks to everyone in different ways.
For some, it’s a superhero, for others the toilet is a holy throne where miracles happen. There are different depictions of poop on the walls here varying from drawings that look like they were done by a child to those drawn by manga artists. You’re encouraged to join in the exhibition by drawing your own unko interpretation inside a mini toilet seat frame. Following the true nature of poop, it’s only temporary as it will soon be wiped away to make room for the next person’s.
5. Experience a modern Poo-pei
A giant poo sits in the middle of a ball pit amidst the giggles of children and adults alike. Every so often a countdown from ten begins and when the clock reaches zero, little foam poos shoot from the top like a volcanic eruption! Do your part to help collect them and give them back to the museum staff so they can be stuffed back in only to erupt again minutes later.
Don’t forget to take your unko you made at the beginning home with you in one of the provided cellophane bags. You guys have just been through a lot together.
How to visit the Unko Museum Yokohama
Ready to grab your camera and head down to Yokohama for the poop-filled fun? Be sure to get there as early as possible and expect a few hours of waiting. After purchasing a ticket on the first floor, or in advance online, you will be given a timed entry ticket. I got there at 2 p.m. and was given a ticket for 6 p.m. Once you finally get inside, you can stay as long as you like.
If you’re thinking, “What the hell am I gonna do for four hours?” luckily AsoBuild which houses the museum is interesting enough to explore on its own with numerous other exhibitions, restaurants, and art scattered throughout. There’s a hamburger joint, ramen shop, several izakayas, and a coffee shop with gargantuan donuts so it may be nice to plan your trip around lunch or dinner time. The location is quite convenient as well, being just a few steps outside Yokohama station’s southeast exit.