Japan Just different

Japan is different – toilets

In the same way that Japan is at the technological forefront when it comes to trains, so it is with toilets. Warm toilet seats, integrated bidet with sprinkle or shower, water pressure level, positioning (and much more), automatic flushing when you stand up, and even a water sound simulator to drown out the sound of you going about your business. And it even comes with an important safeguards sign, just to make sure you don’t wash yourself down the toilet

Not all toilets are however, equally high tech, and not least the further you come out into the countryside, the more low tech they become. But no matter public or private, they are always spotlessly clean.

At one ryokan (simple hotel) there wasn’t any wash basin after visiting the toilet. When I flushed, and saw water running from a tap on top of the toilet into a basin, I realised that this was an economical water saving toilet, where you wash your hands in the water that flushes the toilet!

In Japan, shoes are considered the least clean thing imaginable. When you enter a Japanese home you must remove your shoes. This also applies to hotel rooms and some restaurants. Then there are different slippers for the toilet. When you enter the toilet leave your room slippers behind and step into the toilet slippers. It’s very important to remember to remove your toilet slippers before leaving the bathroom. Toilet slippers are considered the dirtiest objects in the known universe. Never, ever wear them outside the bathroom. In my experience, they were always 5 sizes too small, so I was more than happy to get out of them.

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