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I reently read a post on finding the right hair salon in Hong Kong and was really impressed with the writing. It’s not that the blogger wrote like an English major but all her emotions were poured into words and I was easily absorbed into her post. Instead of talking about restaurants today, I thought I would discuss the topic of Japanese washrooms. I still like food so don’t get me wrong but damn, this topic will boggle your mind.

Why washrooms?
To begin, the American toilet is no match for the Japanese toilet. You may be familiar with the short metal stick at the back of the toilet as the mechanism “to flush” but in Japan, it is a whole new world. I consider myself pretty smart, if not above average but the Japanese toilet puzzles me. In Tokyo, my mom had to sneak her door open and ask me for help, “How do I flush the damn toilet?” And this is why the post exists, to further explain, let’s desccribe the differences.

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How do you flush in America?
You literally find the little handle (usually at the back) and push it down. If the mall is new, you probably have “automatic flush” and an option to tap a small button to flush manually. This really should be the extent of our toilets.

How do you flush in Japan?
Some malls will have the aforementioned methods equipped, but others will look like a mini computer lols. Most japanese toilets have multiple options, like the keyboard of your computer. There is a part where you can press to spray water up your ass for cleaning. And if you are female, it sprays the front area. On the side of the toilet is a panel that allows you to play music/sound; the purpose is to cover the noise of your “business”. In Japan, everyone is super polite and likes to be conversative. The problem with Japanese washrooms is that every panel looks different.

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I do want to mention that there is another type of toilet that is directly on the ground. This toilet forces you to squat and yes, it’s super awkward. Back in the days, Asia was not equipped with many standard toilets so we were used to squatting. The right way to squat is to face the “bulk” of the toilet, the part that looks like a cover. You basically spread you legs open, squat, pull your pants down, and pray that it doesn’t drip on your underwear LOL. Usually there is a string for you to pull to flush or better yet, some step pedal. In some washrooms, the toilet paper is hung outside the stalls and in Hong Kong, there is never toilet paper. Just today, I had to ask the lady working in the washroom area where the toilet paper was. Apparently, all the toilet paper was stored in a cabinet and she was not very happy with handing them out lols.

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(And in other news, we have the best nature-looking washroom in the mall)

Some tips for travellers:
– Always carry a pack of tissue
– Do not be afraid to play around with the buttons
– Know the words boy and girl in different languages lols

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2 thoughts on “[Travel] Japanese washrooms

  1. I had an embarrassing moment once with toilet in Tokyo too! I tried touching everything but nothing happened. People lining up outside waiting… i had to.. ask the next girl standing there…. EMBARRASSING!!!

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