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Goin’ Japanesque!

How to Use the Japanese High-Tech Toilet: So You Won’t Have Any Trouble in Japan!

You may already know of the Japanese warm-water wash toilet. However, there probably are not many of you who have actually used it. For someone who is new to Japan, the Japanese toilet is quite challenging with so many buttons and all the explanations in Japanese. Then, this article is just for you! We are teaching you how to use the Japanese toilet. If you read this article, you will have no trouble when you visit Japan.

 

1. The Washiki Toilet

(和式トイレ)

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Nowadays, we see less and less of the washiki (Japanese style) toilet, a style that is unique to Japan. However, it seems there are still many facilities that only have the washiki toilet. If you encounter such a situation, remember which direction to face when you squat. As shown in the illustration, you squat facing the mound-shaped basin. Be sure to never sit on the basin to do your business.

 

2. The Warm Water Wash Toilet

(温水洗浄便座トイレ)

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It comes equipped with many buttons. There are various types; some that are attached to the wall, some that are next to the toilet. When you press the button that says おしり(pronounced “oshiri” and means bottom), a nozzle comes out of the toilet and automatically washes your anus. (The 2nd button from the left.) Pressing the button that says 止 (“tomeru”, or stop) will stop the washing water. (The far left.)

The button that says ビデ(“bide” or bidet) is specifically for women. Be careful because the position of the protruding nozzle will change in order to wash a woman’s private parts. In the image on top, it is shown as a picture of a woman in red. In the lower image, it is depicted as a picture of a woman with long hair. 

Once your bottom is washed, use the toilet paper to gently wipe any moisture away.

2-1. The Washing Nozzle

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The nozzle comes out like this and washes you. Nowadays, there are many public toilets and restaurants that have this type of toilet installed. This raises one question. If everybody uses it does that make it unsanitary? Please rest assured. After each use, the nozzle is automatically sterilized so it is very sanitary. Of course the part of the toilet seat that touches your bottom is also kept very warm so it is comfortable even in the winter time. You can say this is reflective of the heart of Japanese “omotenashi” or hospitality.

2-2. Flushing

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Lastly, you flush. In Japan, there is a distinction of the large flush and light flush. You can push the lever in either direction to flush the waste down the toilet.

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Can you see the picture of the hand? With this style, if you hold your hand against that area, the water automatically starts to flush. This is just a different style for you to be aware of.

 

3. Support Devices

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Lately we are seeing more and more of this device called Otohime. If you are concerned about sounds leaking when you are using the toilet, this device will play music to cancel out those sounds. This is particularly well received by women. If you have happen to have such concerns, try using it by holding your hand above the black part.

This article should be good reference when you visit Japan! One less thing to potentially worry about in Japan!

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