Saturday, June 14, 2008

Tokyo How To's #4: Japanese Toilets (Modern and Squatters)

The Infamous Japanese Toilet....

Daily stops to do your 'business' has never been more complicated. There are a few variations; some familiar and some unfamiliar.

We start with the butt spraying water jet, which is number one for strange experiences. You can control the heat, and strength of the steam to suit your preference. Some also have a hot air button, to dry off your bum after thorough wash.

The normal,one directional silver knob we are use to, puts the user in a predicament when encountering a Japaneses flusher;which can be absurdly confusing.

To begin, there is a (big) and (small) flush. Further explanations about appropriate usage, in unnecessary I think. Usually the flusher is in an obvious position. However, sometimes it is a panel on the wall with a variety of buttons, differing in size and color. If you can't read, it is usually safe to just push the biggest button(no guarantees). I've personally been confused on a number of occasions. I don't know if you ever truly get use to it.

The Sensor Flusher is blackish red box flesh against the wall. You have to cover your hand over the sensor in order to flush.

The Dreaded SQUATTER!

It takes getting use to, but it's not that bad. At least, you don't have to worry about having a clean toilet seat...

So the appropriate way to use it is to face the flusher, in the direction of the dome...i guess it's to prevent splatter...? *shivers*

It's confusing because in other part of Asia with squatters, it's the opposite.

Don't worry, unless you are horribly drunk, you will not get anything on your shoes or pants...(again, no guarantees) Think about it this way...."What did people do before inventing sitting toilets?". It works, don't worry.

Additional Notes:

When visiting a Japanese person's home, and looking for the bathroom, be sure to say "TOIRE"(phonetically: Toy-reh) instead. You will avoid a lot of confusion.

Upon entering, you will soon realize why they call it a water closet, emphasis on CLOSET. Like all sanitary people, we wash our hands after we're done. The Japanese have created a wonderful way of conserving water, by having the faucet above the tank... so please use that...and not the kitchen sink...

My personal favorite oddity is the Otohime... translated into "sounds princess". It is as ridiculous as it sounds. It is a used to mask urinating noises, by having a repeated flushing sound go off. It's more widely used in toilets in Tokyo than in other parts of Japan. Additionally, many of the Sensor Flusher have this feature. Simply wave your hand across the sensor and it will trigger the "sound princess".

This concludes the Japanese toilet info blog.


  1. anonymous said...

    haha wow, I've only gone to Japan for two weeks about 10 years ago and I only encountered the first two with the assorted buttons and the squatter, never saw the otohime though I think it's a useful feature to cover up those embarrassing noises! Amusing post :D