13 Things You Need to Know About Japanese Toilets

If you plan ever to visit Japan, you should know that their toilets are a little bit different than toilets in the rest of the world. You should also know that more than 80% of the households have bidet toilets, which you can rarely see in the rest of the world.

A bidet toilet is a particular type of toilet that, when you see it for the first time, you probably won’t know how to use it properly. These toilets usually provide a set of features, which include anal hygiene, seat warming, and deodorization.

There are two types of toilets in Japan, known as “squat toilets” and “urinals.” Bidets fall into the first category and are known as Washlets. Urinals are similar to toilets in the rest of the world. However, they are mounted a bit lower. They are mainly used in male public restrooms.

In this article, we are presenting you with 13 exciting things that you should know when it comes to Japanese toilets.

1. Toilet Slippers

Toilet Slippers

If you come to Japan, you will notice that they pay a lot of attention to separating clean from unclean. In most Japanese homes, and even hotels and restaurants, it is a culture to remove shoes when you enter. They will usually provide you with a pair of slippers to wear.

The same thing applies to Japanese toilets. When you enter a toilet, you will notice that they have slippers that should be used only in the toilet. Those slippers are considered to be one of the dirtiest things, and people from Japan will be shocked if they see you wear them outside the bathroom.

However, you can’t make a mistake, since those slippers usually have a big toilet sign on them. Also, note that they are generally too small, sometimes around five times smaller.

2. Flushing Water Sound Simulator

In case you want to go to the toilet and there are people outside, you can use a water sound simulator. Sometimes it will automatically start playing when you enter, but sometimes you will have to press the specific button to activate it.

However, a sound simulator button is usually similar to the flush button, so you should watch out not to confuse these two. If you pay attention to details, you will notice that there is a difference between these two buttons.

3. Heated Seats

Heated Seats

Setting on a cold toilet seat in winter is a very rough experience. However, in Japan, you can notice that many toilets have heated seats. A bathroom is a room that we use the most daily, and the Japanese are aware of that.

4. Emergency Call Button

Another interesting and potentially useful thing in Japanese toilets is an emergency call button. It is meant to be used by people with disabilities, or in a case of emergency, like suddenly getting sick while in the toilet. However, be sure to use this button only when necessary.

Note that an emergency button can sometimes be similar to the flush button, but if you pay a little bit of attention, you will notice that there are differences. You don’t have to know how to read Japanese, and you will see that the emergency button is usually red.

5. Toilet Paper

Toilet Paper

A long time ago, toilets in Japan didn’t provide toilet paper. Instead, people used to carry it with them. The fact is that you can still find similar toilets in Japan. However, they are very rare. Most of the bathrooms are very well equipped, and you won’t have any problems with them.

Also, in Japan, toilet paper is thrown directly into the toilet after use. However, be sure only to throw the paper into the toilet. When it comes to any other stuff, you should throw it in the trash can, which is usually nearby.

6. Multipurpose Toilets

Multipurpose Toilets 1

Multipurpose toilets are another interesting thing that you can usually see only in Japan. Those toilets are mainly for people who have difficulties using other toilets. You can notice that they have arm rails and are usually equipped with washbasins.

However, the exciting thing is that you can usually even find a full-sized bed in case you need to rest. There is also an emergency button, and it shouldn’t be confused with the flush button, although they are very similar.

7. Squatting Toilets

Squatting Toilets

Believe it or not, there are still old Japanise-style toilets in Japan, even today.  The fact is also that some public parks offer no other alternative. After use, you have to push the lever like on Western-style toilets.

8. The Baby Changing Table

The Baby Changing Table 1

Another fascinating and useful thing is the baby changing table. Many places in Japan provide these tables inside multipurpose toilets or outside the bathrooms, in separate rooms. Most of those tables are folded up against the wall, and you have to unfold and extend them fully before use.

9. How to Flush the Toilet

How to Flush the Toilet

There are different methods of flushing the toilet in Japan. It usually depends on the type of toilet. For example, in some bathrooms, you can flush the water by simply using a handle. However, there are also tankless toilets, in which you have to flush the water by pulling the lever, which is in the back of the bathroom.

Some models have a flush button on the wall and some that require you to hover your hand over a sensor.  In case you ever come to Japan, you should pay attention to that.

10. Toto’s Toilets

Toto’s Toilets

Toto is a famous Japanese company that is known for creating high-tech toilets, known as Toto toilets. It has also making its way overseas and is now widely available even in the US and many other countries.

They usually come with a tornado flush function, excellent water efficiency, great design, and a dual flush function. A dual flush function allows you to choose a partial or a full flush, depending on which one is needed.

A little known fact is that Toto was founded in 1917. In April 2017, it celebrated its 90th birthday, and the same month it recalled almost 180,000 Washlets because 29 of them caught fire.

They are also very pricey, with most advanced models that cost up to $4,000.

11. Types of Toilets

There are three large categories of toilets in Japan. These are Washiki toire, Yoshiki toire, and Takino-toire. They stand for a traditional toilet, Western-style toilet, and multifunction toilet. Traditional Japanese toilets can mostly be found in older Japanese spots and buildings.

However, in many places nowadays, traditional toilets are being replaced by Western-style ones. Most probably, this is because people who come to Japan from all around the world are more familiar with Western-style toilets.

12. Using Washlets and Bidets

Using Washlets and Bidets

If you ever happen to use a Japanese toilet, one function that you should try out is the washlet bidet function. It allows you to wash bits in warm water, and at the same time, it will keep the toilet seat heated.

It also has a power function. The power function works by instantly warming the water when the toilet is used and prevents it from warming while not in use. That way, it saves a lot of money on power costs.

13. Toilet Fascination

Toilet Fascination

With all these facts in mind, you must have noticed that the Japanese pay a lot of attention to their toilets. On the other hand, why shouldn’t they be? Bathrooms are the most used rooms in the house, and they should be kept beautiful, fresh, and clean.

In Japan, you can also find scholarly symposiums that are devoted to toilets. Besides, you can find toilets made of 24-carat gold, and there is also a toilet museum.

There are also websites that rate public toilets. Also, there is a Japanese proverb which states that a pregnant woman who keeps the bathroom clean will have a gorgeous baby.

From all these facts, we can conclude that the Japanese pay a lot of attention to their toilets. Not just today, but even in the old days, too.

In the End

If you ever plan to visit Japan, you must have wondered how to use a Japanese toilet properly. This video will explain to you everything that you need to know. Since the toilet is something that we use every day, you should, by all means, learn how to use it properly.

In the end, don’t forget about the toilet slippers. If you wear them outside of the toilet, you will make a big mistake. People in Japan know how to separate clean from unclean, and toilet slippers are one of the dirtiest things in the world. Therefore, they should be left in the toilet, instead of wearing them in the living room.

Have you ever been to Japan? Have you used their toilets? Please share your experience in the comments below.

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