5 amazing facts of Japanese restrooms - Waku Waku

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5 amazing facts of Japanese restrooms


5 amazing facts of Japanese restrooms

Japanese restrooms are often praised as "Amazing!" from the world. But do you know about the reasons?

Waku Waku

Waku Waku

Published on 12 Jun 2020, 17:00

"Because of the latest high-tech facilities, it does not bother you at all."

"Because of being clean thoroughly, it is a comfortable environment."

"Because of its dedicated usability, it makes you feel as your own space."

All above descriptions are about Japanese restrooms. Japanese restrooms are often featured by foreign media, telling how different and amazing are. Also, it is not difficult to hear good reputations from those who traveled or lived in Japan too.

This article will introduce 5 amazing facts of Japanese restrooms and toilets.

Looking at the origin or the culture of Japanese toilets, in fact, would reveal an unexpected interesting side of Japan.

1. Technology development

The Western style has been developed since 1960s
The Western style has been developed since 1960s

The toilet style we use today is not the same as it used to be. Originally, the squat style toilet, called "WASHIKI" was widely common in Japan.

Around 1960, the Western sitting style, called "YOSHIKI" began to spread out. With the technology development of electric toilet, the Western style has gradually been established in Japan since then.

The function like electric toilets or heated seats have become more common. Nowadays, there are even other developed functions which the lid opens and closes automatically, or which it flushes automatically when you finish it. You don’t have to press the button or pull the lever to make them action.

Furthermore, there is also a "speaking toilet" which tells with an automatic voice when it flushes.

The lid opens and closes automatically when you move
The lid opens and closes automatically when you move

Thanks to these new technologies, Japanese restrooms have become just the space to relieve yourself without bothering by doing much there. And actually, technologies are still in development process for the better future.

Tips for Buttons!

Have you ever got in trouble with pushing buttons? There are some simplified machines with English translations, but here is basic function as the picture shows. (Functions are different depending on the machines.)

Basic functions of electric toilet
Basic functions of electric toilet

While the Japanese restroom has been functional, "WASHIKI" toilet still remains. Technology has developed, only recently. As some Japanese people use traditional style toilets today, it doesn’t completely disappear.

2. Clean, anyway

Public restrooms are clean thoroughly
Public restrooms are clean thoroughly

It might be widely known that Japanese restrooms are clean. In buildings like offices or service facilities, restrooms are often cleaned, like every one hour.

This may have been affected by Japanese education and the cleaning culture.

In Japanese school education, the cleaning time is settled as daily duty. Under the precept; "We clean our places ourselves", students clean their classroom, corridors or even toilets themselves at the same time, everyday.

This Japanese cleaning culture permeated by education system, may have an effect on forming Japanese people as clean freaks.

On the other hand, it is said that the Japanese believe that a deity dwells in restroom. They believe that the happiness or luck would be brought to family or companies by cleaning toilets, because it pleases God.

There can be various reasons or background, but anyway, isn't it better to use a clean restroom than dirty?

3. Attentive service 

Kids-sized toilet is served beside the normal men's toilet
Kids-sized toilet is served beside the normal men's toilet

Japanese people tend to consider that restroom as an important private space. Therefore, it has been given much consideration to users in various situations.

For example, there are devices that play a melody or flushing sounds to mask bodily noises, or that deodorize the space after using. These are solutions to divert users embarrassments to others.

Also, some facilities for those who are with children, such as; baby seats, kids-sized toilets or fitting boards, are set too. Mostly they were commonly found in women’s restrooms, but recently they have been available in men’s too.

In addition, a multi-functional lavatory is available for a person in a wheelchair or the elderly. It is a large-sized private restroom with handrails and wash stations. There is an emergency button, so that users are able to notify the emergency control centre or the staff in the case of an emergency.

Here also can be used when changing baby’s diapers.

Multi-functional restroom is for those who needs supports
Multi-functional restroom is for those who needs supports

Japanese restrooms are considerate spaces for any users, responding to their various needs or situations.

4. Free and easy access

Public restrooms are basically free
Public restrooms are basically free

Japanese restrooms are free of charge to use. You can use them in public parks or stations for free, basically.

Recently, an application which shows the vacancy of a public restroom, also launched. Have you ever had such an experience that you had to be in long line waiting even after taking times to look for the public washroom? This app would solve that situation.

However, this new app is still in the test process as well. Please be careful when using as can reveal your location information.

Besides, restrooms at convenience stores are basically available. But please make sure with the staff before you use it (In some touristic places, you may not be allowed).

5. More comfortable

Powder room for touching up your make-up
Powder room for touching up your make-up

In addition to the developments of toilets itself, essential "toilet paper" has a good reputation for its excellent comfortability.

These may not be seen often in public places. But some places where commits the detail about the environment, such as trendy restaurants or fancy bars, you may be able to experience it. If you have a chance, it might be interesting to check out such places.

In department stores or shopping complexes, you might be able to find a "power room" next to a women's restroom. This space can be used to touch up your make-up, or check your appearance and grooming.

It sometimes offers cotton swabs, facial papers or mouthwash for free. Some places set up even hair dryers for customers too.

When you look into the mirror in the restroom, you do feel like re-do a bit of makeup, don't you? This would be a perfect service for you!

Japan has taken "the restroom" seriously as a private room, and has developed it to convenient and comfortable space.

It might be an interesting idea to experience restrooms in many places in Japan. It is still developing and changing, you may find a newest comfy one!


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