Japanese toilets

Japanese squat toilet

One of the amazing discoveries in our travels to Japan were Japanese toilets. Though there were squat toilets (which took a great deal of physical coordination to use), the majority we found were known as western style- 洋式 – and featured a myriad of buttons for a variety of functions. Not knowing how to read Japanese found us pleasantly surprised by these functions.

According to Wikipedia, Japan has the most advanced toilets in the developed world. This was obvious. First of all, the seats are warmed and the user can control the temperature from between 30 to 40 degrees centigrade. Apparently Japanese women are embarrassed by the sound of urinating so continually flushed the toilet to cover the sounds they were making. There was a big campaign to stop their flushing because it used a lot of water totally working against the green efficiency of these toilets. The campaign didn’t work so now there is a button which allows the user to play a musical sequence of flushing. On one model I used, there were a variety of musical sounds you could choose including a waterfall with birds as well as a rainstorm option.

Of course, these toilets come equipped with a variety of bidet choices too. I became aware of many of these options when I was searching for which button controlled the flush.

Though there is modesty about the sounds people make in public washrooms, the sign below which identified the washrooms at the local gas station near our son’s apartment, did not seem so shy.

Leave it to the Japanese to once again ceremonialize and ritualize even the most basic bodily functions.

…and two additional photos from JB—

This entry was posted in behavior, Japan and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Japanese toilets

  1. leamuse says:

    There are still some squat toilets (a bit different than shown) here is rural parts of France. Most likely you would find them in a small village bar in a more remote area. You will also find them in Vietnam and Thailand.
    Léa

  2. Jerome Bloom says:

    IN
    THE 60s
    IN
    NORTHERN ITALY
    OUTSIDE A BAR
    IN A SMALLCAVE
    IN MOUNTAIN SIDE
    WITH A Mt.STREAM
    FOR FFLUSHING
    A MOSS COVERED
    WET SLIPPERY
    DARK DECAYING
    CONCRETE
    SQUAT TOILET
    TO USE WAS
    AN AMAZING
    EXPERIENCE
    FOR A VERY YOUNG
    AMERICAN

  3. Imagine squatting on a moving train, watching the ties fly below! In Vietnam, the squats on trains are open to all that is below.

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