Translated by Lester Somera
A Guide To The Various Special Functions Of Japanese Toilets
This article will take a look at some of the interesting features of Japan's unique toilets!
Written by miho
Japan’s beautiful toilets always leave a deep impression on international visitors due to their many functions, such as the common washlet and the heated toilet seat, which is a godsend in winter. Another helpful function is the Otohime (*1). However, there’s no point to all these convenient functions if you don’t know how to use them, so we’ve compiled a helpful guide!
*1: The Otohime, literally “sound princess”, is a device that mimics the sound of flushing water so that the other people in the bathroom cannot hear you in the stall.
What’s So Different About Japanese Toilets?
First, let’s talk about what sets Japan’s toilets apart from those of other countries. Japanese people think of bathrooms and toilets as two separate spaces with different purposes, and this holds true for homes as well as high-end hotels. Also, in addition to the standard Western-style toilet seat, traditional Japanese toilets are squatted over. Japanese toilet paper is made of paper that dissolves, and you can flush it away, which is why you will not find trash cans by Japanese toilets.
1. The Fundamentals of Otohime
Developed in Japan, Otohime is a device that makes the sound of flushing water to block out the sound of urinating. Mostly used in women’s bathrooms, it was created to keep the people outside a stall from being able to hear what is going on inside. According to data, Japanese women flush a toilet two to five times on average to prevent themselves from being heard. Since this is a very inefficient use of water, Otohime was created with the goal of reducing this wastefulness.
Also read: Otohime - TOTO
2. Are You That Much of a Stickler!? Washing the Toilet Seat
Japanese bathrooms have liquid dispensers installed for wiping down the toilet seat. They are installed to deal with hygiene issues, and for people who are averse to sitting on a seat that someone else has sat on. Spray some liquid onto a square of toilet paper, wipe the seat down, and you’re in the clear.
3. A “Feminine Sympathy” Garbage Can for Ladies’ Products
While toilet paper can be flushed down toilets directly, in general, you can’t flush tampons away.
Women’s bathroom stalls have small garbage cans that come with lids, so that you don’t have to see anyone else’s business. Move your hand close to the garbage can lid and it will open automatically, then close after you’ve thrown your trash away. These are very beloved by women since they don’t have to see other women’s business, and they don’t have to touch the garbage can lid.
4. Changing Boards for People with Kids
When changing, you can stand on it, which is more hygienic than directly standing on the floor in socks or bare feet. In addition, you can rest your bag on it. The tables are very convenient when changing children. Furthermore, because it folds out, it can be put back when not in use so as to preserve the atmosphere. It is made of non-slip material, so you don’t need to worry, even on rainy days.
We’ve explained some of the functions of Japanese toilets. Aren’t you surprised and curious to try one out? The next time you come to Japan, verify one with your own eyes!
This article was translated from Traditional Chinese.