I never thought I would write a post about toilets, but here goes:

Weird thing about Japan # 5: the toilets.

One of the things I love most about Japan is the fascinating juxtaposition between old and new, traditional and contemporary, outdated and super super modern, and there is no facet of life which expresses this more clearly than the toilets. In my experience thus far I have found that all toilets will go to one extreme or the other.

They will either be, quite literally, a hole in the ground, or they will have a panel of buttons which perform a range of obscure functions. You can have a wash–jet, spray or mist–and a dry, both of which can have the temperature and force adjusted. Some have seat heating functions and some (this is my favourite) have a noise option which plays a flushing sound or music to hide the sound of your peeing.

The first time I tried out all the functions on the toilet, in my hotel room in Tokyo, my roommate thought me screaming from the bathroom was hilarious. I figure the other end of the spectrum is me screaming when I fall into a hole in the ground.


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