Thursday, August 25, 2005

japanese toilets

aside from plain old western toilets, japan has three different kinds of toilets that i've had the pleasure to experience. these will be the best toilets of my trip, most probably until singapore. most toilets here have toilet paper, even the ones in train stations. but it is worth to carry some with you just in case. lastly, you can also flush toilet paper in all toilets here, which is wonderful. toilet luxuries like this will most probably end monday.

1. japanese style.

this is a really nice one, but i have yet to see a dirty one or a very bad one (aside from the ones on mt-fuji). these are the style available mostly everywhere, except in really fancy or touristic places. basically you squat facing the front (flush handle side) and it's usually pretty easy to not make a mess. it's great because you don't have to touch anything, so this makes these toilets generally more hygienic.

2. western toilet with sink

this is the type of toilet you usually find in people's home and in affordable hotels. they're really practical! when you flush, water comes out of the facet automatically so that you can wash your hands. Unfortunately, most places have no soap there and nothing to dry your hands. as well, the water will run as long as it takes for the toilet to fill, so it does end up wasting a lot of water.

3. japanese take on the western/european toilet

the toilet that assaulted me!

these toilets, and fancier versions, can be found in high-end hotels and some restaurants. usually the toilet room will come equipped with soap to dessinfect the seat and a hand dryer. the toilet is plugged to the wall and has a special arm on the right-hand side (fancier ones can even come with a remote). you can heat your seat (very lovely) and play music to drown the sound. once you are done your business, you can choose different jets to get cleaned (they aim at number 2, all of them, it seems) and add "deodorant" if you wish. some also have a drier built in. surprisingly, using the jet isn't messy at all. it's just very surprising when you don't expect the strength or the aim!


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