You may have heard the stories; toilets in Japan are a little bit different….
Yes and no. Most of the ones in hotels or public restrooms are ‘western toilets’ (some even have signs on the door stating what type of toilet is available).
‘Regular’ Japanese toilets look a little something like this;
How to use them is not what you’d think. You don’t want to fall in…
The ‘Western toilets’ are easier to master. They resemble our own; they are a circle with a hole and a seat. The only problem is, they’ve been modernized. There’s buttons, gadgets and streams of water, that shoot out like laser beams towards your butt.
It’s all quite futuristic, especially if you don’t know how to work them. They aren’t all the same either -it’s not like a kettle, one big button for the only action you need. It’s like a new washing machine.
As you can see, the buttons don’t leave much up to the imagination though. That half drawn, upside down love heart is definitely a symbol for someone’s rear end.
At one point during my travels, I caught a bug which resulted in me having a fever for a few days. I was staying with my host family at this time, and was unsure how to use their specific toilet. I also wasn’t sure what the kanji was on the buttons.
Being so sick, I was obviously spending a fair amount of time on the toilet (I know, terrible visual!). I’d flush it, only to need to use it again. And I didn’t know how to turn the options off again! Why is that pressing the button twice didn’t turn it off?
I pressed the biggest button, presumably the flush. Nope! It turned the heat on. I had a fever and I was spending most of my night on a loo seat that was never anything under than 40°C.
I got butt burn!