What the Japanese can teach us about toilets: Bringing civility to the bathroom stall

What the Japanese can teach us about toilets: Bringing civility to the bathroom stall

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I had been standing, waiting for a bathroom stall for more than a minute or two.  There was only one person in front of me, but the normal rhythm of the women’s bathroom seemed to be off.  These people were taking quite a long time to complete their bathroom necessities.  Finally, it was my turn.

The toilet seat was warm.  This was the first thing that I noticed.  I then looked over the set of instructions on the wall of the bathroom stall next to the toilet. The instructions explained the panel of buttons that was located next to the toilet seat.   YIKES!  What had I gotten myself into?

If you enjoy this, check  out these other pieces from our time on the other side of the world:


Japenese Toilet Instructions

Options for my Japanese toilet experience included rear wash, bidet (with options for varying the water pressure), fake flushing sounds, heated toilet seat and varying levels of air fresheners.

Having had to wait a bit for my turn, I was determined to get the full experience, so I completed my business and started pressing buttons.  The rear wash was very direct and to the point.  The bidet wash was a little more dispersed.  The flushing sounds were a nice accompaniment to the symphony of perfection that embodies the Japanese bathroom experience.

Once finished, I flushed and returned to the hustle and bustle of the Narita airport, feeling just that little bit more clean and refreshed than I had before I went in, my sanity and civility returned to me like a precious gift.

Why can’t all toilets be so multi purpose?  I became convinced after finishing my first experience with a Japanese toilet that being able to leave the bathroom feeling refreshed and cleaner than when you came in would really make the world a better place.  Fancy toilets = world peace?  Maybe not, but a little piece of my world was considerably better afterwards.

Shanna Schultz

We are Shanna and Aaron + kiddos. We are a travel addicted family of four who love to escape at every possible opportunity. When we travel, we love to focus on creating meaningful travel experiences that help us all learn about the world together and bring us closer as a family. Shanna also writes about travel in the Midwestern part of the United States at her blog A Midwest Travel Companion

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