Sunday, January 15, 2006

Japanese Toilets

I really do need to mention the toilets in Japan. There are Western style and Japanese style. I wasn't surprised by the Japanese squat toilets because I'd seen them in Italy. But my first experience with the heated Western toilet seat was in this hotel in Tokyo. The toilet seat in our bathroom was toasty warm... a great place to spend a little time when it is snowing outside. Take a book.

The seat had additional features... a couple of bidet streams, one with a picture of woman and another that looked like a shower. Hmm. Ours was turned up a little high. Dave is still laughing about the scream.

On many models, you also find that when you sit down, you hear the sound of a burbling brook. And sometimes in Japanese style stalls a little speaker turns on and plays the burbling brook sound when you walk in. There is a button to push to replay it. When I asked Karen about this, she explained that you use the brook music to mask embarrassing sounds. Aha... like when you blow your nose.

Mostly I used the Japanese style toilets because I thought it might make me seem less foreign. On one snowy day in a public restroom without a heated Western toilet seat I chose Western and discovered why they heat the seats and why it's better to use the Japanese style if they don't. Cold, very cold!

You also learn to take your packet of kleenex with you because most public restrooms do not supply toilet paper. Nor do they have paper towels to dry your hands. Advertisers hand out free kleenex packets in the shopping district... gives you something to read in the bathroom. And women carry small washcloths in their purses to dry their hands. The fancier places have electric hand driers.

At home and in some restaurants and hotels they have Western style toilets with a fresh water spout above the tank on the back. You can wash your hands without having a separate sink. That water goes into the tank to refill it for the next flush. Very clever. Nothing is wasted. Posted by Picasa

1 comment:

MissM said...

The other end of the spectrum: