Japan takes pooping very seriously – so seriously that thought has even been given to the shy pooper. A standard feature in all the toilets was a button that could be pressed that makes the sound of waterfalls to cover any loud farting noises that might come about during a poop session. I will never forget the toilets in a KFC in Tokyo that had vast options for different sounds to mask pooping noises. A few of these included the sound of birds chirping, a lake flowing etc.
It’s so serious that earlier this year, the largest toilet manufacturers agreed to standardize the icons used on toilets to stop confusing customers.
Almost by default, every toilet seat was warm. I really appreciated that. Nothing worse than sitting on a cold toilet during cold weather. Some of the #mirozinjapan really disliked the warm toilet seats though – they felt as if someone’s warm bum had just gotten off it. I’m not sure what’s so wrong about that. Would it be more comforting to know that the last person on the toilet had a cold bum?
As someone who does enjoy toilet time and sees it as a great opportunity to catch up on social media, reflect on life or read the labels on everything in the toilet (in those dreaded times when I don’t have my phone, a kindle, a book or a magazine to keep me company in the loo, I quite appreciated how welcoming the Japanese toilets were. It all reminds me of that story in Looking for a Raingod – The toilet. While not quite remembering the details, I recall the protagonist of the story living in a toilet. That always conjured up images of nasty toilets…but those Japanese toilets. I think someone could comfortably call them home.
While there are a few other things in Tokyo that could be considered odd e.g. cat cafes, rabbit cafes, cuddle cafes etc., one of the more obvious things I noticed was the face masks. So many people went about their daily lives with face masks on. What was most fascinating was how artistic some of the face masks were and how customized they were.