If you know me at all, you know that I haaaaaaaaaate public bathrooms. They are always dirty, the toilet paper is often 1-ply, there is no privacy (Why are the cracks between the stall big enough for people to see in?!), washing your hands becomes futile because you still have to touch the faucet and the door unless there is a fancy automatic shut-off and unless you wait for someone to come along and open the door for you!
Yep, it’s all gross. It’s the stuff nightmares are made of.
I mean, what do you even do???
Why didn’t someone warn me???
Thankfully, in Tokyo, most of the toilets are “Western style” (the kind that I am used to here in the States). Many even have a bank of fancy and confusing buttons…so many buttons, in fact, that sometimes flushing the toilet can be challenging. (Which button is it?)
The buttons are all part of the washlet–a bidet-like contraption fitted into the toilet seat. Washlets are in most of the public bathrooms and private homes in modern Tokyo. Most of the washlets include a seat warmer and a deodorizer, too. Some, like the one at the top of this post, have a music button you can push and it plays a little tune or water noises to give you a little privacy and drown out any…ahem…bathroom noises. In some public washrooms, the music/water noises start automatically. I’m a big fan of the music…I don’t want to know what’s going on in the stalls around me.
It’s sanitizer for the seat! You just squirt some on a piece of toilet paper, wipe down the seat and it’s clean and ready to use. Genius, no?
Clearly, when it comes to public bathrooms, Japan Does It Better!
(In case you missed the beginning of this series, click here.)