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Why are bidets common in Japan?


Bidets are commonly used in Japan, and many people wonder why. There are several reasons why bidets are popular in Japan, including cultural and practical reasons. This article will explore why bidets are common in Japan and what makes them so popular.

Cultural Reasons

One reason why bidets are popular in Japan is due to cultural reasons. In Japan, cleanliness is highly valued, and it is considered essential to maintain good hygiene. Bidets help with this by providing a more thorough cleaning than toilet paper alone. Additionally, the use of bidets is seen as a more civilized and sophisticated way to clean oneself after using the restroom.

Japanese Snack Box

Practical Reasons

Another reason why bidets are popular in Japan is due to practical reasons. Japan is a country with limited resources, including water and trees for making toilet paper. Bidets provide a more eco-friendly option for cleaning oneself after using the restroom. Additionally, bidets can help reduce the spread of germs and bacteria, which is especially important during flu season.

History of Bidets in Japan

Bidets have been used in Japan for centuries, dating back to the Edo period (1603-1868). The first modern electronic bidet was invented in Japan in the 1960s and has since become a standard feature in Japanese households. Today, most Japanese toilets come equipped with a built-in bidet function.

Types of Bidets

There are several types of bidets available in Japan, including electronic bidets that provide a range of features such as water temperature control and air drying. There are also non-electronic bidets that attach to the toilet seat and require manual operation.

How to Use a Bidet

Using a bidet can be intimidating for those who have never used one before. To use a bidet, first use toilet paper to wipe yourself clean. Then, use the bidet to clean yourself with water. Some bidets come equipped with a dryer function, while others require the use of toilet paper or a towel to dry yourself off.

Benefits of Using a Bidet

There are several benefits to using a bidet, including improved hygiene and reduced environmental impact. Additionally, bidets can help reduce the risk of developing hemorrhoids and other anal conditions.

Public Use of Bidets

Bidets are not just limited to private households in Japan. They can also be found in public restrooms, including train stations and airports. This is due to the cultural emphasis on cleanliness and hygiene.

International Adoption of Bidets

While bidets are most commonly used in Japan, they are also popular in other countries such as Italy and France. In recent years, there has been an increase in the adoption of bidets around the world as people become more environmentally conscious and seek out more hygienic options for cleaning themselves after using the restroom.

Cost of Bidets

Bidets can range in price from a few hundred dollars for a basic model to several thousand dollars for a high-end electronic bidet with advanced features. However, many Japanese households view bidets as an essential item and are willing to invest in a quality product.

Future of Bidets

The future of bidets looks bright as more people become aware of the benefits they offer. As technology continues to advance, it is likely that we will see even more advanced features added to electronic bidets. Additionally, as concerns about the environment continue to grow, we may see more widespread adoption of bidets as a more eco-friendly option for personal hygiene.


Bidets are common in Japan for a variety of reasons, including cultural and practical considerations. They offer several benefits over traditional toilet paper, including improved hygiene and reduced environmental impact. As more people around the world become aware of the benefits of using bidets, it is likely that we will see increased adoption in the years to come.

Are bidets common in Japan?

In Japan, the most advanced type of toilet is the bidet toilet. As of March 2016, these toilets are installed in 81% of Japanese households and are commonly known as washlets, which is a product of Toto Ltd. These toilets often have sophisticated features that are not commonly found outside of Asia.

When did bidets become popular in Japan?

The use of bidets in Japan gained popularity in the 1960s when they were initially imported from Western nations for medical purposes. In 1967, Inax created the first domestically-produced Japanese bidet, and in 1980, Toto’s Washlet series was introduced which included heated seats and a warm water wash.

Are Japanese bidets sanitary?

For many years, Japanese toilets and electronically operated bidets have been recognized as leaders in the realm of sanitation technology on a global scale.

Why doesn t america use bidets?

Bidets have not been widely adopted in American culture, and this can be attributed to the belief that they are associated with brothels and emergency contraception. This origin story has contributed to the reluctance towards bidets.

Why is there no soap in Japanese bathrooms?

The reason behind it is unknown, but it is speculated that it may be to reduce expenses in public restrooms by saving on soap and water costs. Additionally, many Japanese homes used to have toilets with a faucet on top, and it was believed that the soap should not run back into the tank. This was observed in 2008.

Which country uses bidets the most?

The bidet is commonly associated with France and their customs, though other countries have also adopted its use. Italy is the European country that uses the bidet the most, with a law requiring every home to have one.

Challenges of Bidet Adoption

Despite the many benefits of bidets, there are still challenges to their adoption in other parts of the world. One challenge is the lack of awareness and education about how to use bidets properly. Some people may be hesitant to try a bidet because they are not familiar with how they work or are afraid of using them incorrectly.

Another challenge is the cost of installing a bidet in existing bathrooms. Many homes and buildings in other countries do not have the necessary plumbing or electrical connections to accommodate a bidet, which can make installation difficult and expensive.

Finally, there is also the issue of cultural differences and preferences. In some cultures, using water to clean oneself after using the restroom is not common practice, and people may be resistant to trying something new.

The Role of Bidets in Public Health

Bidets also play an important role in public health, particularly during times of disease outbreaks. The use of bidets can help reduce the spread of germs and bacteria that can lead to illnesses like diarrhea and dysentery. In countries with poor sanitation infrastructure, bidets can be particularly beneficial in reducing the risk of infection.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, bidets have seen increased demand as people seek out more hygienic options for cleaning themselves after using the restroom. Bidet manufacturers have reported a surge in sales as people look for ways to reduce their risk of contracting the virus.


Bidets have a long history in Japan and offer several benefits over traditional toilet paper. While there are challenges to their adoption in other parts of the world, increasing awareness about their benefits and advancements in technology may help overcome these obstacles. As concerns about hygiene and environmental sustainability continue to grow, bidets may become an increasingly popular option for personal hygiene around the world.

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