Technologically Advanced Toilets But Sinks Dispense Water The Temperature of Melted Ice

Even though I spent many years living in Japan every time I visit I still find random, fascinating aspects of the culture and country that I hadn’t noticed before. Instead of creating one long blog post I’ve decided to turn it into a series where each week I share one or two observations from my most recent trip. 

Japanese toilets are notoriously difficult to use with intricate, complex instructions (written solely in Japanese of course) attached to the wall of each stall. Frankly, in a country where you have about a 50/50 shot of hitting the button for “bidet” instead of “flush” I’m surprised we don’t hear about more foreigners bursting out of toilet stalls, arms flailing wildly, their half soaked pants wrapped unceremoniously around their ankles. In Japan you would be hard pressed to find a toilet seat that isn’t electronically warmed. Not hot, just a comfortable temperature that spares your butt cheeks that initial shock of a stone cold throne. Hotels, restaurants, dive bars, even public restrooms on the street—all warm. However, once you exit your technologically advanced toilet stall your hands will be greeted by water so cold you may be tempted to rush back to the toilet push the “warm pulsating wash” or “blow dry” button just to bring back the blood to your fingers. I couldn’t help but think that instead of spending all that scientific manpower on figuring out the ideal distance between vulva and anus jets or the preferred temperature for the pulsating butt wash, they could look into adding a hot water faucet to the bathroom sinks.

But then again, maybe my priorities are just different.

Looks simple enough…

But open the panel and tad da… don’t read Japanese? Good luck!

A very uncommon sight, I found this extensive English user manual in a department store bathroom in Kyoto. Could a past unfortunate experience with a foreigner have prompted the posting of these detailed English instructions?


  1. Pops

    Ha, that’s funny! I had forgotten. Looking forward to #3.

  2. Rose

    Love japanese toilets.. I think it’s one of my favorite things about Japan. 🙂

    1. Serious? Ha! You should look into purchasing one for your home. I believe Toto sells them in the US.

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