Various toilets around Japan
01.07.2007 - 29.07.2007 30 °C
Ok, after 4 weeks i can now confirm that i have seen every different type of toilet in Japan, ranging from the basic to the top of the range.
Firstly the basic - a bit like french loo's being a hole in the ground. However slightly different as they don't have the foot rests and have a hood. These take a little getting used to and you have to ensure you are correctly positioned otherwise you have a bit of clearing up to do. These are usually located in public places e.g. tourist spots, train stations and cheaper hotels but are also found on trains. However in this case (females) make sure you step up onto the raised platform before removing trousers as this makes it difficult to step up, and ensure that you hold on to the bar otherwise as the train goes round the corner you spray everywhere!
Standard - not much to say really, like western toilets although many come with an adapted cistern so as you flush and the tank refills you wash your hands in the water- very efficient and saves space.
Top of the range - where do i start, well they look like a western loo but have adaptions. When you step into the cubical there is a motion sensor that activates a tape recording of running water (don't know whether this is to help you go or to stop others from hearing you). Beside the (heated) seat there is a number of buttons (which took me nearly 2 weeks to gain the confidence to press) and a knob. The first button is a warm water bum hole washer, which you control the pressure using the knob, however you have to be aware that many toilets require you to press a reset button first, otherwise you get freezing cold water. The second button is one for the ladies, a bit like a bidet, to wash the front parts. These are mainly located in posh department stores and some hotels. The best i have seen however was in a department store in Ginza, Tokyo, where the water contained appricot wash (why???). The only problem with these toilets is drying afterwards, when you use toilet paper it shreds and sticks, perhaps they should included a bum dryer?!
footnote: urinals. pretty much the same as back home, but with a motion sensor so they flush straight away as you step away. i've never seen this in the UK.