Updated from original post on FB from April 14, 2015
One doesn’t usually talk about toilets in in polite company or on social media, but toilets in Japan rock! Here are toilet features I have seen and how frequently. This includes most public restrooms:
- heated seat (boy is that nice on a cold day!)
- large/small flush
- built in bidet with heated water
- remote allows adjustment of force and direction of bidet and posterior water stream/spray
- slow-closing lids (never a slammed toilet lid)
- adjustment for water stream/spray intensity and/or pulse
- faucet with mini sink atop tank allows you to rinse hands with water refilling tank after flush (saw this a lot more 19 years ago. Great way to conserve water!)
- automatically flushes if you exit w/o flushing
- automatic exhaust fan inside the toilet
- auto generated sounds of rushing water when you sit (I leave it to the reader to deduce the reason)
- hot air blow dryer (post-bidet)
- lid automatically opens when you enter room and closes after you exit (just like a refrigerator light; some toilets actually have a light that comes on, too!)
Oh, and just about 100% of all bathroom sinks have no-touch automatic faucets.
On the other hand, many public restrooms provide no paper towels. Some have hand dryers, but many do not. It is a common sight to see people, especially men, exiting a restroom shaking out their hands to dry them. Most people carry a small clean cloth in their purse or pocket used primarily for drying their hands.
For those who have not experienced a bidet and posterior sprayer, the initial experience can be quite jarring. But after a month of using these, I feel like a Philistine being reduced to using mere toilet paper to…clean. Attempting not to get too crude (and probably failing), these Japanese toilets really get you clean, and you don’t have to use much or any toilet paper except to help dry off. Certainly those who suffer discomfort from chafing
and hemorrhoids will love Japanese toilets. Those with sensitive skin who can get allergic reaction from scented T.P. can also find great relief in these thrones. Given the amount of water required to create toilet paper as well as its tendency to clog toilets, the Japanese toilet may well represent a great overall reduction in water usage.
Although Japanese toilets are rare and extremely expensive in the US (US$3,000.00 and more), a conventional toilet can be converted with a special toilet seat for between US$200-$800. You will need a GFCI installed near the toilet. I fully intend to get one.