Sunday, January 12, 2014

Noteworthy Restrooms: WTH?? First Encounter with a Japanese Toilet

Japanese Toilet - Copyright: Suzanne Fluhr

On a visit to Japan two years ago, the very first photo I took was not of a lovely pagoda nor beautiful garden. No, it was of the first toilet I encountered at Narita International Airport outside Tokyo. 

Figuring out how to operate this contraption was a struggle for my jet lag addled brain. My husband always has to wait for me outside airport bathrooms (along with most of the other men on the planet waiting for their wives), but he was becoming seriously concerned when I had not emerged after what seemed an inordinate amount of time. 

The truth is, I was seriously overwhelmed by the options presented to me on the toilet control panel. (Seriously, people, Japanese toilets have control panels!) What if I pushed the wrong button and started World War III? 

To make matters worse, not all the buttons had English translations. Is there some part of toilet operation that the Japanese feel compelled not to share with gai jin (foreigners)? 

Not only was my first photo of a Japanese toilet, my first blog post was about Japanese toilets. I found them utterly fascinating.

More of our Restroom Picks
Noteworthy Restrooms Pinterest Board
A tour of Great Hotel Bathrooms

Guest writer: Suzanne Fluhr is a recovering lawyer who blogs about Baby Boomer Travel for the body and mind at Boomeresque.