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What are public toilets like in Japan?


Public toilets in Japan are known for their cleanliness, advanced technology, and unique features. In this article, we will take a closer look at what makes Japanese public toilets stand out and how they differ from public restrooms in other countries.


Japanese culture places great emphasis on cleanliness, and this is reflected in the state of their public toilets. You will rarely find a public restroom in Japan that is dirty or unkempt. Most facilities are cleaned daily and often multiple times a day.

Japanese Snack Box

Toilet Technology

Japan is known for its advanced technology, and public toilets are no exception. Many toilets come equipped with features such as heated seats, bidets, and air dryers. Some even have buttons to play music or simulate the sound of flushing to provide privacy.


Privacy is important in Japanese culture, and this extends to the design of public restrooms. Many toilets have individual stalls with floor-to-ceiling partitions to ensure maximum privacy. Some even have noise-masking features to drown out any sounds made while using the restroom.


Japan is a country that values accessibility, and this is reflected in their public restrooms. Many facilities have designated stalls for people with disabilities, as well as changing tables for parents with young children.

Cultural Significance

In Japan, public restrooms are more than just a place to relieve oneself. They are also seen as an opportunity to showcase Japanese culture and hospitality. Many restrooms feature traditional Japanese designs and decorations.

Cleanliness Etiquette

Japanese culture places great importance on cleanliness etiquette when using public restrooms. Visitors are expected to remove their shoes before entering the restroom and to dispose of all waste properly.

Paper vs Water

In Japan, there is an ongoing debate over whether paper or water is a better method for cleaning oneself after using the restroom. Many Japanese prefer water-based methods such as bidets, while others prefer traditional paper methods.

Paid vs Free

In some parts of Japan, it is common for public restrooms to require a small fee for use. These fees go towards maintaining the cleanliness of the facility and are generally considered worth the cost by visitors.

Public vs Private

In addition to public restrooms, there are also many private restrooms available for use in Japan. These can be found in convenience stores, train stations, and other public spaces.

Cultural Adaptation

For visitors to Japan, using public restrooms can be a new experience. However, it is important to respect Japanese customs and etiquette while using these facilities.


In conclusion, Japanese public restrooms are known for their cleanliness, advanced technology, privacy features, accessibility, cultural significance, and adherence to cleanliness etiquette. Visitors to Japan can expect a unique and comfortable restroom experience when using these facilities.

Do Japanese public restrooms have toilet paper?

Toilets in Japan are typically kept in excellent condition and kept impeccably clean to ensure maximum comfort for all visitors. In general, the use of toilets is free and toilet paper is always available.

Are public toilets common in Japan?

In Japan, there are many public restrooms that can be found in various places like department stores, supermarkets, bookstores, CD shops, parks, convenience stores, and even most train stations except in rural areas.

What is a must wear inside the toilet in Japan?

If you have ever visited Japan, you may have had to wear slippers in certain places, such as someone’s home, a temple, or even the restroom. The extensive customs surrounding the use of slippers in Japan might make you wonder why they are so significant in their culture.

Can you throw tissue in toilet Japan?

In Japan, it is customary to leave toilet paper in the bowl and flush after use. However, only toilet paper and other flushable papers should be disposed of this way. Sanitary napkins and tampons should be placed in the wastebasket next to the toilet.

Are Japanese toilets hygienic?

Toilets in Japan are known for their exceptional cleanliness, benefiting both users and households. Thanks to self-cleaning features, there’s no need for manual scrubbing. Moreover, the nozzle ensures a refreshing and hygienic experience after each use.

Which country has the cleanest public toilets?

Tokyo, Japan is known for having the world’s best public toilets, which are not only exceptionally clean but also feature advanced technology. Bidets in these facilities have multiple buttons for adjusting water pressure and angle.

COVID-19 Measures

With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, public restrooms in Japan have implemented additional safety measures. Many facilities have installed touchless features such as automatic flushing and soap dispensers. Some restrooms also have signs reminding visitors to wear masks and practice social distancing.

Cleanliness Rankings

Japan takes cleanliness seriously, and this is reflected in their annual restroom rankings. The Japan Restroom Association conducts an annual contest to determine the cleanest public restrooms in the country. Winners are awarded a certificate of cleanliness and recognition as a top restroom facility.

Restroom Tourism

Believe it or not, public restrooms have become a popular tourist attraction in Japan. Some facilities are so unique and well-maintained that they have gained a cult following. For example, the restroom at the Kanazawa Station is known for its modern design and advanced technology.

Restroom Etiquette Signs

Many public restrooms in Japan have signs posted with etiquette guidelines to ensure that visitors are aware of proper restroom behavior. These signs may include instructions on how to use the bidet function, reminders to flush the toilet, and reminders to wash hands before leaving.

Future of Restroom Technology

The future of public restrooms in Japan is exciting, with new technologies being developed to enhance the user experience. One such development is the “smart toilet,” which uses sensors to monitor health metrics such as blood sugar levels and body temperature. These toilets could potentially revolutionize healthcare by providing early detection of health issues.


Japanese public restrooms are a testament to the country’s dedication to cleanliness, technology, and cultural values. Whether you’re a visitor or a resident of Japan, you can expect a comfortable and unique restroom experience when using these facilities.

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