At the some point in the near future, Japanese toilets might be one of Japan’s “must-see attractions”. The Japanese toilet is not just a toilet, it is packed full of Japanese ingenuity which has resulted in a technologically advanced super toilet. Of the two types of toilet in Japan (the Washiki (和式), or Japanese style toilet, and the Yoshiki (洋式), which is Western style) the Western style toilets are surprisingly high-tech.
An automatic opening and closing toilet lid, a heated toilet seat, a toilet flushing sound simulator and nozzles that squirt water giving you a nice clean! These are some of the features of these high-tech toilets. There are several buttons on the panel for controlling these features next to, or on the side of the toilet. I presume you will feel tempted to push those buttons! If you gain some knowledge of the Japanese toilet and are prepared to use it, you won’t be shocked with what happens. You may be amazed and like it.
1 and 9. 止 (Tomeru) STOP – when you push this button, the water will stop coming out from the nozzle (refer to buttons 2 and 10).
2 and 10. おしり (Oshiri, bottom) SPRAY – when you push this, a nozzle will appear and start to “wash” your bottom. You can modulate the water pressure using #5, press + (stronger) or – (weaker).
3 and 12. ビデ (Bidet) BIDET – this is for a female to wash after nature. “BIDET” buttons are commonly coloured pink, red, or orange and the symbol is shaped like a woman.
4. 音姫 (Otohime) FLUSH SOUND – when you press this button, the sound of a toilet flushing plays for a while. It is a masking device. Many Japanese females are very self-conscious about what others would hear when they are in the toilet. They are so sensitive about what other people think of them that they would be ashamed of making noises in the toilet! It is in a toilet, who cares about the sound in a toilet? They care about that! Before this device, girls flushed water to camouflage the sounds. What a waste of water! As a result, this masking device was developed to save water and to save dignity.
5 and 14. 水勢 (Suisei) WATER PRESSURE – adjustment of water pressure for spray and bidet.
6. 音量 (Onryo) VOLUME – adjustment of volume for the flush sound.
7 and 15. パワー脱臭 (Power Dasshu) POWERFUL DEODORISER – there might not be a deodorant spray in the toilet. It is ok. You can simply press this button.
8. 流す (Nagasu) Flush – if you cannot find a flush lever/handle (they are usually behind the toilet or attached to the water tank), press one of these buttons. There are two flush modes, “large (大) and small (小)”, the difference is in the volume of water used. You will see these symbols, “大” and “小”, on the lever as well.
11. やわらか (Yawaraka) SPRAY – this is an equivalent feature as #2 and #10, but the water pressure is softer and weaker.
13. 乾燥 (Kanso) DRY – when you press this button, warm air will come out and dry your bum. If you want to try to use “DRY”, the following steps would be ideal: After you’ve finished what you are doing – 1, wash (spray). 2, wipe. 3, dry. You can skip step 2, but it will take a lot longer to dry!
The Washiki (和式), Japanese style toilet, was introduced on our blog “5 Things that are good to know before you go to Japan” – 3. Toilet & Bath.
A heated toilet seat is one of my favourite features of the Japanese high-tech toilet, however, a friend of mine does not like it! She told me “I had a bad experience using the toilets when I went to Japan. I hated the toilets with heated seats. I was very uncomfortable with it because the warm seat made me feel as if somebody had used the toilet just before me.”
I’m pretty sure she went to Japan in a warm season. If it was in the cold winter, as long as there is a high-tech toilet you would never get a shock from a cold toilet seat! It’s great (for me)! If she went to Japan in the winter, she might have had a different impression of it.
There are pros and cons in the level of comfort for using the high-tech toilet. Look out for it, what will you feel when you use them.