A man accidentally smashed his car into Japan’s oldest toilet at a centuries-old Buddhist temple.
The man’s job is to help preserve the country’s cultural heritage.
Police said the ancient door of the toilet, which dates back to the 15th century and is designated an important cultural asset, was ruined after the employee hit the throttle without realising the car was in reverse gear.
No one was injured and the actual latrines inside remained intact.
The Sankei Shimbun newspaper reported that the man, whose identity was not revealed and who works at the Kyoto Heritage Preservation Association, called the police to report himself shortly after the crash.
He was said to be visiting the temple on business,
The newspaper published a photo showing what appeared to be the car after it drove into the toilet’s 700-year-old wooden door and pillars.
Director of the Tofukuji Research Institute, Toshio Ishikawa, said he was “stunned” by the scale of the accident.
Although the damage is repairable, restoring the outhouse to its original state would require “lots of work,” another official said.
The unused communal toilet, known as tōsu, was built in the first half of the Muromachi period (1336-1573) and is located inside Tofukuji temple.
It is nicknamed the “hyakusecchin,” which means 100-person toilet.
This is because it was used by more than 100 trainee monks at the temple practicing religious self-discipline, the Asahi Shimbun newspaper reported, describing it as a structure containing a row holding around 20 circular holes cut into stone.