Hobo tourism/Overnight stays in long intercontinental journeys/In a public toilet

Staying overnight in a public toilet — a variant of night rest travelers using the methods of bum tourism.

Spacious toilet in forest park area near temple complex
Kasuga-taisha, Nara (Japan)

Used in emergencies; for example, if air temperature or precipitation do not allow sleeping outdoors.



Standard kit of hobo tourist: plastic sheeting (to protect the underside of the sleeping pad from dust), an inflatable pillow, plaid or sleeping bag.

Cases from practice


Russian traveller Viktor Pinchuk twice used this method in the fourth solo expedition to Africa: when crossing the border between Lesotho and South Africa; and in the city of Oudtshoorn, where he went to the police station, and was identified by an officer for the night in such an extravagant place[1][2].

Here is how one of the aforementioned cases is described in the book "Holiday of wandering mzungu":

"Another hour of walking, I noticed in the distance several separate sources of light: lanterns, or windows of houses. Even if it is a village — also not bad. When the building of a border checkpoint was visible ahead, the road was blocked by a stream flowing from the mountain. I took out a flashlight. Having crossed the ford, has stumbled into... closed gates. Surprise! What to do? There are three options: climb over the fence; stay on this side until the morning ("sleep" jumping on one leg, or lying — shivering from cold); long time shouting wild cry. I chose the third point as the most sensible. Continuing to yell frantically, noticed a police car approaching the building with glowing windows. I took out a flashlight, adding a sound signal with a light. Soon the car left, and with it the hope. Without paying attention to the details, continued what I had started. A man came out of the luminous building. Approaching the gate, he asked where I had come from. "From Lesotho", said, holding out my passport through the bars. The border guard has opened the lock. We approached the office walls, he fled the door and, putting a stamp with the inscription Sani Pass, returned the document through the window: "You can go". It began to rain. "And how many kilometers to the city?" — "About thirty". — "Can I sleep here?" — "This is the border, impossible". Having inspected the territory of the border guard, I found a toilet: quite clean, cozy and without an unpleasant smell. "Can I stay overnight in the WC?" — asked, returning. "Well. Only passport surrender till morning" [2].

In the Japanese city of Nara near the temple complex Kasuga-taisha, located in a forest park on the outskirts of the city, a suitable option (see video). However, overnight in the WC did not take place because an alternative was found — the vestibule of high-rise [3].

Aspects of application


This option is presented for theoretical study, the use of the method in practice is low probability.


  1. Pinchuk, Viktor. Holiday of wandering mzungu (in Russian). Russia: Brovko. p. 138. ISBN 978-5-9908234-0-2.
  2. a b Pinchuk, Viktor. Holiday of wandering mzungu (in Russian). Russia: Brovko. p. 152-153. ISBN 978-5-9908234-0-2.
  3. Pinchuk, Viktor. Japan for free (in Russian). Russia: Brovko. p. 22-23. ISBN 978-5-9908234-1-9.