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How do Japanese people go to the bathroom?

The Basics of Japanese Bathroom Etiquette

Japan is known for its unique and advanced culture, with customs and traditions that are often fascinating to outsiders. One aspect of Japanese life that may seem unusual to Westerners is their approach to bathroom etiquette. From the use of high-tech toilets to traditional squatting toilets, here’s a comprehensive guide on how Japanese people go to the bathroom.

The Role of Toilets in Japanese Culture

Toilets are an essential part of daily life in Japan, and it’s no surprise that the country has some of the most advanced toilet technology in the world. High-tech toilets, known as Washlets, are common in homes and public restrooms across the country, and they come equipped with features such as heated seats, water jets for cleaning, and even built-in music players.

Japanese Snack Box

The Use of Squatting Toilets

While high-tech toilets are prevalent in urban areas, traditional squatting toilets can still be found in rural areas and older buildings. Squatting toilets require users to squat over a hole in the ground rather than sit on a seat, which can take some getting used to for those who have never encountered one before.

Bathroom Etiquette in Public Restrooms

In Japan, public restrooms are typically kept clean and well-stocked with supplies. However, there are some rules of etiquette that visitors should be aware of. For example, it’s customary to wear slippers when using a public restroom, and it’s considered rude to talk on your phone or make loud noises.

Using a Bidet

Bidets are commonly found in Japanese bathrooms and are often integrated into high-tech toilets. These devices use a stream of water to clean the genitals after using the toilet, which can be more hygienic and comfortable than using toilet paper alone.

Washing Hands After Using the Toilet

As with many cultures around the world, washing your hands after using the toilet is considered essential in Japan. Most public restrooms have sinks and soap available for this purpose.

The Importance of Cleanliness

Cleanliness is highly valued in Japanese culture, and this extends to bathroom hygiene as well. Visitors should strive to leave bathrooms as clean as they found them and dispose of trash properly.

Gender-Specific Bathrooms

In many public places such as restaurants and train stations, separate male and female restrooms are provided. It’s important to pay attention to the signs indicating which restroom is appropriate for your gender.

Using a Public Restroom While Menstruating

For women who are menstruating, using a public restroom can be challenging. However, most Japanese restrooms have sanitary napkin disposal units available for this purpose.

Accessibility for People with Disabilities

Japan has made great strides in recent years to improve accessibility for people with disabilities. Many public restrooms now include features such as grab bars and raised toilet seats to make them more accessible.

Proper Disposal of Waste

In Japan, it’s important to follow proper waste disposal practices when using the bathroom. This includes separating recyclable items from non-recyclable waste and disposing of sanitary items properly.

Conclusion: A Unique Approach to Bathroom Etiquette

Japan’s approach to bathroom etiquette may seem unusual at first glance, but it’s an integral part of their culture that visitors should strive to respect. By following these guidelines, you can ensure a pleasant experience when using Japanese restrooms while also gaining insight into this fascinating aspect of Japanese life.

Do Japanese use water or toilet paper?

Both traditional and modern Japanese bathrooms might or might not have toilet paper and hand towels for drying after washing hands. If you are in a fancy department store or hotel, you should have a washlet toilet with built-in dryer, toilet paper, automatic hand dryers and paper towels.Oct 12, 2020

Is bathing together normal in Japan?

Yes, in Japan parents and children bath together fully naked. And that’s culturally perfectly normal. From a Japanese perspective, together tub-time is good for family bonding. As children grow older, they’ll start enjoying bath time separately.Dec 14, 2019

How often do Japanese bathe?

In Japan, it is common for individuals to take a bath on a daily basis, and showering alone does not suffice. Unlike in other regions where showering may be referred to as bathing, the distinction is made in Japan.

What are Japanese public restrooms like?

In Japan, restrooms are typically kept very clean, so it’s important to maintain this standard by leaving them spotless. One essential rule is to flush the toilet after each use. Nonetheless, some tourists may struggle to find the flush button in Japanese toilets.

Can you flush tampons in Japan?

In Japan, it is customary to leave toilet paper in the toilet bowl and flush it after use. Only toilet paper and other flushable paper should be disposed of in the toilet. Sanitary napkins and tampons should be put in the wastebasket located next to the toilet.

Is it OK to not wipe after peeing?

Maintaining good hygiene by cleaning your genital area after urination is crucial for overall health. It eliminates any remaining urine droplets that may cause unpleasant odors and promotes a healthy genital environment. Since bacteria thrive in warm and moist environments, keeping the area clean reduces the chances of developing skin irritation, as well as bladder and yeast infections.

The Importance of Silence

In Japan, silence is highly valued and considered a sign of respect. When using a public restroom, it’s customary to remain quiet and avoid making unnecessary noise. This includes refraining from flushing the toilet unnecessarily or slamming doors.

Removing Shoes Before Entering the Bathroom

In Japanese culture, it’s customary to remove your shoes before entering a home or other indoor space. This also applies to bathrooms, where it’s common to remove your shoes before entering. Visitors should look for a designated area outside of the bathroom to store their shoes.

The Role of Privacy

Privacy is highly valued in Japanese culture, and this extends to the bathroom as well. Many high-tech toilets come equipped with privacy features such as noise-masking music or sound effects to ensure maximum privacy for users.

Avoiding Eye Contact

In Japan, eye contact is often seen as confrontational or disrespectful, especially in public spaces. When using a public restroom, it’s customary to avoid making eye contact with others and maintain a respectful distance.

Respecting Others’ Personal Space

In crowded public restrooms, it’s important to respect others’ personal space and privacy. This means waiting patiently for an available stall and avoiding standing too close to others while waiting.

Proper Use of Toilet Paper

While bidets are common in Japanese bathrooms, toilet paper is still widely used. However, visitors should be aware that Japanese toilets are not designed to handle excessive amounts of toilet paper. It’s important to use only the amount necessary and dispose of it properly in the provided receptacle.

Dealing with Unfamiliar Technology

For visitors who are not familiar with high-tech toilets or other bathroom technology, it can be helpful to read instructions or ask for assistance from locals. Many public restrooms have signs or symbols indicating how to use their facilities properly.

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