Monday, November 02, 2009

Stereotypes First

Whenever people talk about their impressions of Japan, the topic of toilets will inevitably come up sooner or later. Well, now that I have experienced the famous Japanese loos first hand, I am only too happy to oblige. After a little incident with the "shower" button which resulted in my back (as opposed to my backside) being thoroughly showered, I made a mental note to avoid pressing that particular button and learned to love the omnipresent "washlets" (there are also "warmlets" with only nicely warmed-up toilet seats but no extra functions). Not only do they warm your bum ("bidet" as opposed to "shower" function), they also entertain you with fake flushing noises and wash your behind with scary precision, should you wish so.
Toilet slippers are of course only used in private houses or hotel rooms, not public restrooms:
Japanese hightech toilet (onemorehandbag)On trains or in the majority of public lavatories I encountered, there was always the choice between western-style sit-down toilets or Japanese-style toilets which apparently require some explaining for the non-initiated Gaijin:
toilet instructions (onemorehandbag) And here the simplified version for illiterate Gaijin:
toilet pictogram (onemorehandbag) What all those toilets had in common was that no matter how remote the village or local the train, I always and without exception found a generous supply of toilet paper. Were I to nominate the perfect country to relieve your bladder in, it would definitely be Japan. Austria is known as a rather clean and civilized country and yet I would only ever contemplate using a toilet at a train or subway station in an extreme emergency. In Japan, however, I did so frequently and never once encountered a filthy or smelly one.


Blogger Unknown said...

Since you are returning from vacation with such entertaining anecdotes, we should send you on holidays more often.

Always a pleasure!

11/13/2009 05:59:00 PM  

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