When people think of Japanese toilets – as I’m sure many of us often do – they think of the high-technology toilet with all the buttons, that looks more like a space-ship than an actual toilet. Standard functions include two sprays of water (one for boys and one for girls), a blow dryer and preheated toilet seat. Often there will also be a button for ‘a flushing sound’, meant to stifle any unladylike noises you might produce.
Every once in a while you meet a really smart toilet, that detects your presence automatically and greets you with classical music. These kind of toilets know when you’ve finished your business and flush automatically. I’m always grateful for automatic flushers because finding the right button to flush with can be a challenge sometimes.
But there is also another kind of Japanese toilet:
That’s right. It’s the ‘glorified hole in the floor’ toilet, the kind you have to squat over (face to the left on the above picture). Who would expect this in a high-tech society like Japan? But this is in fact the traditional Japanese toilet. It is especially abundant in smaller towns, the countryside and in traditional Japanese venues. If you plan to spend some time in Japan, you’d better get used to this.