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What can you not do in a Japanese bathroom?


Japan is known for its unique culture, traditions, and customs. One of the most interesting aspects of Japanese culture is their approach to personal hygiene. Japanese bathrooms are different from Western-style bathrooms, and there are certain things that are considered taboo. In this article, we will explore what you cannot do in a Japanese bathroom.

Remove Your Shoes

In Japan, it is customary to remove your shoes before entering a home or a bathroom. This is because Japanese homes and bathrooms have tatami mats, which are delicate and easily damaged by shoes. When entering a Japanese bathroom, it is important to remove your shoes and place them outside the door.

Japanese Snack Box

Wear Clothes Inside

In a Japanese bathroom, it is customary to be naked. Wearing clothes inside the bathroom is considered unclean and disrespectful. In fact, many Japanese bathrooms have a separate changing area outside the bathroom where you can disrobe before entering.

Flush Toilet Paper

Unlike Western-style bathrooms where you can flush toilet paper down the toilet, in Japan, you cannot do this. Japanese plumbing is not designed to handle toilet paper, so it is customary to place used toilet paper in a separate bin beside the toilet.

Use Soap in the Bathtub

In Japan, taking a bath is considered an important part of personal hygiene. However, using soap in the bathtub is considered taboo. This is because the water in the bathtub is meant to be shared among family members or guests. Using soap in the bathtub can contaminate the water and make it unusable for others.

Shave Your Legs

While it may be tempting to shave your legs in the bathtub, this is considered taboo in Japan. This is because shaving can cause small cuts or nicks that can contaminate the water in the bathtub. If you need to shave your legs, it is recommended that you do so outside the bathtub.

Use Hot Water for Washing Hands

In Japan, it is customary to use cold water when washing your hands in the bathroom. This is because hot water is reserved for bathing and should not be wasted on hand washing.

Use Hair Dye

Using hair dye in a Japanese bathroom is considered taboo. This is because hair dye can stain the bathtub and make it unusable for others. If you need to dye your hair, it is recommended that you do so outside the bathroom.

Make Loud Noises

Making loud noises in a Japanese bathroom, such as slamming doors or flushing loudly, is considered impolite. This is because these noises can disturb others who may be using the bathroom at the same time.

Eat or Drink Inside

Eating or drinking inside a Japanese bathroom is considered taboo. This is because bathrooms are seen as unclean and unsanitary places that should only be used for personal hygiene purposes.

Use Bath Towels as Washcloths

Using bath towels as washcloths in a Japanese bathroom is considered taboo. This is because bath towels are meant to be used for drying off after bathing, while washcloths are meant for cleaning your body during bathing.

Leave Water on the Floor

Leaving water on the floor after bathing or using the sink in a Japanese bathroom is considered impolite. It is important to dry off any excess water and leave the area clean and tidy for others to use.


Japanese bathrooms have their own unique set of customs and taboos that must be observed if you want to avoid being seen as impolite or disrespectful. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that you are able to navigate a Japanese bathroom with ease and respect for local customs.

Why is there no soap in Japanese bathrooms?

The reason for this is that it is a traditional practice in Japan, particularly in older buildings, and it helps reduce the cost of installation. The purpose is simply to rinse one’s hands, rather than performing a thorough hand washing with warm water and soap.

What can a Japanese toilet do?

The Japanese toilet, also known as a smart toilet, is a technologically advanced toilet that allows for remote control access. These toilets can flush, spray and dry with the touch of a button. Originally developed in Japan, they are now becoming more popular around the world.

What to do in a Japanese public bath?

The basics of proper bathing etiquette involve showering before entering a bath. If using a hot spring, you will be provided with shampoo, body wash, and towels, but for public baths, you will need to either bring or rent your own. Each shower will have a stool and bucket, which should be used to pour hot water over yourself while seated.

What is considered inappropriate in Japan?

Pointing at people or things is considered rude in Japan. Instead of using a finger to point at something, the Japanese use a hand to gently wave at what they would like to indicate. When referring to themselves, people will use their forefinger to touch their nose instead of pointing at themselves.Sep 12, 2017

Is it OK to wear jeans in Japan?

In Japan, it is acceptable to wear casual clothing such as shorts, jeans, and camisoles outside of Tokyo’s business district. However, it is important to avoid wearing such clothing when visiting religious sites.

How often do Japanese bathe?

In Japan, it is customary for most people to take a bath on a daily basis. While some people in other parts of the world may refer to showering as “taking a bath,” this distinction is not made in Japan. In Japanese culture, only taking a bath is considered sufficient for cleanliness.

Use a Mobile Phone

Using a mobile phone inside a Japanese bathroom is considered impolite and disrespectful. It is important to respect the privacy of others who may be using the bathroom at the same time. In addition, Japanese bathrooms are often small and cramped, making it difficult to use a mobile phone without disturbing others.

Dispose of Sanitary Products Properly

In Japan, it is also important to dispose of sanitary products properly. This includes items such as tampons, pads, and menstrual cups. These items should be placed in a separate bin beside the toilet and not flushed down the toilet. Proper disposal of these items helps to prevent clogs and damage to the plumbing system.

Use a Bidet Correctly

Bidets are commonly found in Japanese bathrooms and are used for personal hygiene purposes. However, it is important to use them correctly. Before using a bidet, it is recommended to first wipe yourself with toilet paper. Then, use the bidet to clean yourself. After using the bidet, it is important to dry off with toilet paper or a towel.

Consider Others When Using Fragrances

Using fragrances in a Japanese bathroom can be considered taboo if they are too strong or overpowering. It is important to consider others who may be using the bathroom at the same time and choose fragrances that are mild and subtle. Additionally, avoid spraying fragrances directly onto surfaces such as walls or counters.

Respect the Bathroom’s Schedule

In some public places such as train stations or malls, Japanese bathrooms may have scheduled cleaning times where they are closed for a certain period of time each day. It is important to respect these schedules and plan accordingly when using the bathroom in these locations. Ignoring these schedules can result in being locked inside the bathroom or causing inconvenience for others who need to use the facilities.

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