Amazing Japanese Toilets: A Newbie’s Introduction

Featured image - Japanese Toilets

Ah, Japan. Even saying the name leaves an exotic taste in the mouth.

If America is the symbol for Western society, then Japan is the symbol for the Eastern society. The name itself represents another lifestyle: tranquility, concise, and efficient are the words to describe the mystery of the culture.

Throughout my professional life, I’ve been to this country several times, for both business and for pure pleasure. Still to this day, this country never ceases to amaze me. However, it was the Japanese toilets that attracted my eye balls.

Everywhere I go, the bathroom is so clean that I would have no problem drinking straight from the toilet bowl. Besides the cleaningness, another thing that amazes me is the bidet toilet, or “washlet” as they would say in Japan. These daft punk style panels indeed give my “little friend” an awesome journey…

Japanese toilets stand in a special position in the industry, its dedication and renovation conquers all other languages and cultures - even American Standard views them with respect.​

Types of Japanese Toilets

1. Squat Toilet

What? Did I just hear you said you are too rich for this toilet? Well, me too. The very first time I saw this piece of porcelain lying in front of me, I was confused. “Why do you put an urinal upside down in a bathroom?”

Apparently, Japanese (and most of Asia) people squat when they’re dealing with shit. Even the signs on the wall remind you to “come a step closer,” but in a crappy grammar.

Japanese toilet

"No more chicken legs" - Shinzō Abe

Of course, some may argue this kind of toilet is cheaper and more hygienic, however, several studies show the toilet seat isn’t a big factor when it comes to hygiene. With this, I don’t see the benefits installing a squat toilet, especially when you can spend about $300 to get a brand new toilet.

Why don’t they just dig a hole in the ground?

2. Bidet Toilet

In 2002, over half the Japanese houses installed high-tech, so called “bidet toilet seats.” Bidets are also called “washlet.” This is the best thing regarding Japanese toilets. Although, nowadays I can spot some bidets toilets from time to time, but most of the toilets around US are still normal function toilets.


I want my butt washed too

I feel like people should walk on the street, holding signs like “give me a bidet toilet,” because washlet toilets are so good…

Wait a minute… So what makes a bidet toilet so good?

Basic Functions

Bidets cleanses your anal by shooting water up it. The best feature of the bidets is they figure out the best water temperature most favorable for a human that is slightly beyond body temperature. That’s why everytime when you sit on a bidet toilet, you taste a movable feast.

Aside from heated water stream, there is another feature that called “heated seat.” The temperature is adjustable between 30ºC to 40ºC. Sadly, I am not enjoying this function because I feel like I am sitting on some kind of furry animal...

Learn how to use a bidet here.​

Crazy Functions

Back 2005, TOTO announced a new function for bidet toilet, which is.... drum roll please... a singing toilet. Geeze, who thought making a bidet that can play MP3 files would a good idea? What should I listen to? Uh... David Bowie’s “Space Oddity”?

Another thing is the massage function - it literally sprays water to massage your sore ass. I’m pretty sure after a long labor, you will certainly need this first class treatment.

The Sound Princess (Otohime)​

It was shocking the first time to read this online. This device flushes a large of water in advance to cover the sound of bodily function. I know Japanese are proud of their cleanness, however, they have gone so far that they have to cover their own sound of dumping. It is ridiculous to many degrees. I personally haven’t tried it due to this device being mainly installed in female public bathroom. Nevertheless, I’m damn sure I will hysterically laugh at it while listen to the water streaming.

Honorable Mention - TOTO

When I speak of Japanese toilets, TOTO always appears into my mind like a hard working gentlemen. People in the industry widely give credits to TOTO that they make bidet a real thing. Without his dedication in the toilet business, we may never witness such revolution. TOTO first introduces high-tech toilet “Washlet” serious back in 1980, and from then on TOTO sits on the throne of the bidet toilets.


I enjoy every bit of time when I was in Japan. This is a country full of wonder and disgust, namely the toilet industry. Only the Japanese can think of such both weird and satisfying products. Admittedly, I spent quite a lot of time spying different toilets in the bathroom, but in the end, I think the time was well worth it.

The best experience in my memory is the first time I stepped into my hotel’s bathroom and the toilet greet me by slowly opening its lid. I’ve never thought this machine can be so human and alive. Slightly amused, I walked out the bathroom and the toilet lid sadly closed the lid as if it were saying the longest goodbye. I laughed and walked back and forth in front on the bathroom door several times. I bet they spent millions of dollars (or in this case, yen) developing this amazing function. However, in the end, it is only used to amuse a foreigner. And I believe this thought is the best way to describe Japanese’s work.

They just spend too much damn time building some ridiculous stuff…

Oh, another thing is the many times when I walk into a bathroom, especially the high class ones, they are always slippers waiting. Whether it’s an Asian thing, or a japanese thing, but they sure love their slippers.

Good luck. Be clean. Stay white. And remember to check out Flush guide for more toilet info.

  • Tim
  • March 21, 2017

Tim has been in the plumbing and home improvement industry in over a decade. His main passion is the bathroom where he loves to get creative within this sector. He spends most of his time writing content about home improvement, DIY and bathroom related topics.

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