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A Quick Guide to Japanese Toilets

Updated: Sep 3, 2022

Japanese toilets are a complicated subject, and often one many people don't know the answer to when they visit Japan for the first time. In this guide, we'll discuss both types of Japanese toilets: the smart toilet (Washlet) and the traditional squatting toilet, their pros and cons, and how to use them correctly. Before we get into that, let's take a look at some cool features in Japanese public restrooms.


First is that stalls usually extend all the way down to the floor and don't have any cracks or spaces between the doors where people can look into compared to some countries like the United States.





Next is another privacy feature that is not as common, but you do see it often enough. That is a nature sound button that you can press to mask the sounds of your bodily functions. They usually play sounds like waterfalls or raging rivers to give you a bit of piece of mind. Japan takes there restroom business very seriously!









And lastly, most Japanese toilets have two flushing options. There is a little flush and a big flush option to conserve water.





What are Squatting Toilets?





Squatting toilets are commonly found in Asia, not just in Japan. They are also known as squat toilets.


Squatting toilets are usually made of porcelain or ceramic and have a hole in the ground that you squat over. There is no seat, and you typically hold on to a handrail for stability.


If you're traveling to Japan, it's important to know how to use them properly. Here are some tips:


-Pull your pants all the way down to prevent items in your pocket from falling into the toilet bowl.


- Place your feet on either side of the hole and lower yourself down so that your bottom hovers over the hole.


- Squat down until your thighs are parallel to the ground and your knees are at a 90-degree angle. Rest your weight on your heels, not your toes.





Who Should Use a Squat Toilet?


There is no one definitive answer to this question - ultimately, it is up to the individual to decide whether they feel comfortable using a squat toilet or not. However, some people may find that squatting toilets are more beneficial for their health because they position your body in a way that is more natural and ergonomic, which can improve bowel movements and help prevent constipation.






Benefits of Using a Washlet or Japanese Smart Toilet




A Washlet, also called western-style toilet, is a type of smart toilet that offers a variety of features, including a heated seat, a bidet, and a self-cleaning function. While traditional toilets require you to squat over them, Washlet toilets have a seat that you can sit on like a regular toilet. This makes them much more comfortable to use, especially for those who are not used to squatting.


There are many benefits to using a washlet or Japanese Smart Toilet over traditional toilets. Some of these benefits include:


They are much more hygienic – The washlet features a built-in spray which ensures that you are always clean after using the toilet. Most toilets have two functions: the bidet spray for women and the bottom spray for everyone. The spray functions have adjustable water pressure settings to make sure everything is just right for you.





They are more comfortable – The washlet features a heated seat which is extremely comfortable to use, especially in colder weather. These heat settings are adjustable so you can even keep warm in the summer.



Sit or Squat?


So, which type of toilet should you use? It’s really up to personal preference. While traveling in Japan, you'll most likely run into both, however Washlets are more common nowadays and you'll see most Japanese people prefer these toilets as well. You might even run into some location that have both, and then you'll really get to decide to sit or squat.




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