Observations on Japanese Culture - Part 9 - Toilets

The toilets in Japan are an adventure in themselves. Ranging from a hole in the ground to a high-tech comfort zone, we had quite a few conversations about the facilities.

Here's what most of the toilets looked like in public places

Maybe one third or one fourth of the toilets were Western style with a place to sit.

Apparently going pee for men isn't as much a private thing as for women. In Tokyo Station in one bathroom there were three stalls of the hole toilets, one sit-upon toilet and then a room for changing clothes (replete with a fold-down area to stand on while changing shoes). In that same restroom, and in several others I noticed women cleaning the urinals at the same time men were using adjacent ones. I wondered what exactly was going on there: is it a casual thing to go pee, or is it a feeling that this woman can be ignored because she's cleaning the toilets, or what?

In the same way, some of the public urinals were almost in the midst of traffic. I saw one in Kyoto near Kiyomizudera where you could clearly see the toilet from the the tourist path.

Here's the men's urinal and hands washing area in the hallway at the Taito Ryokan. Not much of a door here.

In all of the hotels and houses I visited the toilets looked more like this "super toilet":

The toilets had multiple features

In addition to a heated seat, this one has a butt spray, a bidet and a flushing sound. The flushing sound was to cover up any other embarrassing sounds and would play for about 30 seconds.

A couple times the toilets came with remote controls

Poo is lucky in Japan. I bought some lucky poo candy. Here's someone else's writeup on the same candy.

Here's a building near Asakusa with what looks like a statue of golden poo?

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