Japanese Toilets: When You’ve Got to Go

The hotel room wasn’t ready but the urge was too strong. I entered the Ladies Room in the hotel lobby, found an empty cubicle and shut the door behind me. I took one look at the toilet seat and stifled a giggle: it came attached with a remote control!

Naturally, I took a photograph.

Japanese Toilets

I heard several doors open and close, and a symphony of running water played loudly outside my cubicle. Then I remembered reading about such devices designed to mask the sound of passing water as a way to combat water wastage since Japanese women had taken to flushing toilets before use. Pure Japanese ingenuity.

Japanese Toilets

I pressed every button adding to the concert. Then I remembered why I was there.

Once I was in the privacy of the hotel room, I checked the bathroom for such a device, called the Washlet, and I was taken on an experience of a lifetime. The second I made contact with the toilet seat, I had an attack of the giggles. The seat was heated and the automatic sound of the running water had me jumping ten feet high.

I pressed the deodoriser button. I replayed the sound and touched the Braille markings on each setting.

Japanese Toilets

I was most intrigued with the Shower and Bidet buttons and eventually discovered that the Bidet is solely for women’s use (does not work on male anatomy). The water temperature can be regulated, the spray strength can be adjusted, some units provide a pulsating jet and a warm air dryer. And just to be clear, I’m not talking about washing and drying my hair.

Further usage highlighted a surprising fact. The automatic sound of running water was perfectly timed. The thought of men in white lab coats and stop watches immediately rushed to mind. I would hate to be a volunteer subject. Maybe they pay well.

Some units have a tap on top of the tank which is used for washing hands, the water draining into the next flush; a concept I would like to see in Sydney to help with our long-term water shortage.

Japanese Toilets Japanese Toilets

From high tech down to basics… My education into Japanese washrooms was almost complete. Until I encountered a squat toilet.

Naturally, I took a photograph.

Japanese Toilets Japanese Toilets

There is one question that remained unanswered. What is the correct etiquette when it comes to using public amenities? Must you turn on the running water sound to mask the natural tinkle? Is it considered rude not to press the button if for hygiene reasons, you does not sit on public toilet seats to trigger the automatic sound?

Something for next time, perhaps.

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Japanese Toilets: When You’ve Got to Go was last modified: December 20th, 2015 by Corinne Mossati

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Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is the founder and editor of Gourmantic. An avid scribe, she has taken pen to paper since the age of five. Her repertoire includes long works of fiction, short stories and travelogues. She is a winner of the GT travel writing competition, has judged the Australasian Whisky Awards and several cocktail competitions. She is also named in the Australian Bartender Most Influential List.

11 Comments:

  1. Wow, that looks complicated. I’ll take a squat toilet instead – much easier!!

  2. Hee hee.  Actually, we keep remarking about how the Australian toilets all have the two options for liquids and solids.  I love that!  :)

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