I’m going to jot down a couple of things/concepts that I found interesting, entertaining or enlightening while I was in Japan for our short visit. If you’ve been reading my blogs for cool 😎 photos, this blog update might not be the most interesting one for you. Scroll back through my blog for neat photos! For me, though, one of the most intriguing reasons I wanted to travel to an Asian country (so far removed from our own)… was to study 📖 the people, culture and their unique ways of accomplishing every day tasks.
I’ll break this information up into several different blog entries, because I learned and observed so so much. I’ll try to keep this as entertaining as possible, and what’s more entertaining and enjoyable than learning about Japanese bathroom 🚽 etiquette?! You knew it was coming, right!!! I have so much to say.
I feel like explaining an actual Japanese restroom for you is the best place to start! Not all restrooms in Japan are made equal (just as our’s vary from place to place), but it’s taken a step further, I think 💭. From one restroom to the next, each is a little different. In one restroom, you will find a heated toilet seat, music 🎶 that plays to cover up any sounds and a bidet (which I wrote about in an insert a couple blogs back, if you’re interested). You feel very comfy and well taken care of here! 👍🏻 Use them as often as possible, because you never know when your next toilet will be an actual hole in the ground. I hope you don’t have bad knees, or any trouble squatting all the way down to the floor… if you visit Japan!
In some of the トイレ、”toilets”, you will have your own personal sink; either attached to the top of your toilet tank or across from the toilet. That’s the most I think I will ever say the word “toilet” in one sentence. 😆
In other cases, you will leave the stall and walk into a hand washing area, just like in the US, but there are usually no paper towels. This annoyed me the entire trip, and then FINALLY, on the last day, I realized that everyone carried around their own hand towel to use after washing their hands. Would have been a good thing to know, I think. 😡 So, I am telling you… when you go to Japan… take yourself a hand towel. You’re welcome! If you take anything away from this blog entry, take this!!
The list goes on. Most restrooms in Japan (as I’ve stated before) have bidets, but they also have a roll of toilet paper hanging on the wall. I was really confused by this! Who would choose toilet paper over a bidet?! I’m sure people do, but alas… this toilet paper was not here to give people an option. The signs clearly stated that you were supposed to squirt antibacterial onto the toilet paper and clean the seat before sitting down. 🤔 This hurt my head, but I complied. It seemed efficient enough.
Okay, we are nearing the end of my blog about Japanese bathroom etiquette. I know how disappointed you must be! 😉 I have one last observation I made, and I saved the best one for last. For me, this brings a past issue/observation full circle, and that’s always exciting. Let me explain.
When I visited Germany 🇩🇪 a couple years back, I noticed a picture of someone standing on the toilet seat facing the front of the tank. I was so confused! Who would do that? Well, 4 years later I found my answer in Japan. (How exciting is that?!) I learned that these pictures were put up because the Chinese people would stand up on the toilets to use the bathroom.
Why? Because some had never seen a toilet, other than a hole in the ground. They were trying to mimic their toilets back home and hurting themselves. Until recently, China 🇨🇳 hadn’t had any other type of toilets in their country, but now they have more spacey restrooms than the Japanese.
And that ends your toilet education, for now. 😉 You are very welcome! I hope you feel smarter now. 🤓 Go use restrooms in Japan in peace ✌️ knowing that you are now knowledgeable….