toilet paper

To-i-re wa, doku ni ari masu-ka? (Where is the toilet?)


The Japanese are master toilet makers. Ranging from the squatting version on the left to the high-tech Toto in the middle to the standard household model, they’ve got it all covered. The squat toilet was in the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building and was one traditional toilet amid a sea of Western ones. It’s actually fairly hygienic as you don’t actually touch it with your body anywhere…. The high-end Toto version was in the Loft department store in Shibuya and has a build in bidet function, a dryer (some still regard the use of toilet paper as incredibly dirty) and can play music or a fake flushing sound should you be making an embarrassing sound yourself that needs covering up. Sadly most of the instructions are in Japanese which makes it a little tricky. The toilet in our house is pretty standard for middle-class homes with the built-in tap on the top to wash your hands with the water that is FILLING the tank. Cold but better than nothing and also a good way to conserve water…. Personally I prefer the Totos with the heated seats that play music 😉

Snapshot of My Day

A day in the life…first of all, toilets. I think I could possibly write a book about toilets here in Japan. At least a post on toilets, but I’ll get some more photos first. For now, the toilet seat cleaner. It’s a movement detecting device so no touching anything icky and all you do is insert your little wad of TP underneath, wait for the spray and wipe the seat. Though it is entirely possible that the Japanese do it after they finish as well. I may never know the truth about this. Secondly, vending machines. Everywhere. The one in the photo is literally outside my door. I could go in my pyjamas. There’s a recycling bin right beside it because you are sort of expected to drink on the spot and not wander about offending people by drinking in public. Sadly I have learned it is no longer possible to buy vodka or any other spirits from vending machines due to a crackdown on underage drinking…but I can get it at the 7-11 across the street 😉 (more…)