Between the futuristic Blade Runner-esque toilets and the slightly terrifying (but healthier for you) traditional squatters, Japanese restrooms can be a bit intimidating for a first-time user. And even for those who have lived in Japan for a while, using a public toilet can still be a daunting task. So to better understand restroom woes for those coming from overseas, Japanese toilet manufacturer Toto recently surveyed 600 foreigners living in Japan about toilets in the country and what confuses them most.
Japanese style toilet
Like the aroma of fresh-baked bread or the sweet fragrance of a flower shop, the stench of a toilet can be just as memorable, albeit not in as nice a way.
Despite Japan’s reputation for high-tech toilets and Washlets that do everything except brush your teeth (thank God), a surprising number of households in Japan still have the old-style “pit toilets.” These toilets have a porcelain bowl, but no running water to flush in or out. You just squat over the hole and drop your goods into a cement pit waiting at the bottom. It’s basically an in-house outhouse.
Almost all the houses are this style on the islands in the Seto Inland Sea as well as many dwellings in Japan’s countryside. Our toilet reporter takes an in-depth look at how these pit toilet systems work. We bet you’re just dying to know!
Squat toilets aside, Japan’s technological achievements in the restroom are well-known. From seat warmers to washlets and noise-eliminators, Japan is probably the number one place to go number two. But what does the country of the advanced-thinking toilet think of restrooms around the world? Read below to find out!
No doubt, by now Japan’s super toilets (known as washlets) have become a well-known symbol this country. Their bevy of features like heating and cleaning add an unprecedented level of comfort to our porcelain thrones.
However, there’s a dark side to Japan’s restrooms: what’s known as the “Japanese Style Toilet.” For those lucky enough to have never encountered one, it’s a throwback to the olden days of going in a hole in the ground. Only this time the hole is covered in porcelain and has flushing capabilities. Beyond that it’s not much different than camping or surviving a plane crash in the mountains.
Thankfully some special interest groups are working towards wiping this scourge from the nation, and they’re starting with the children.