LWIF EP2: Figuring out a Japanese Toilet

Hello World! Japanese toilets can be intimidating, but fear not, through some trial and error we figure them out for you.

Japanese toilets are famous around the world for being hi-tech. What kind of features can you find on a Japanese toilet?

  • Heated toilet seat. I think this feature is more appreciated in Japan than North America as Japanese homes typically don’t have central air. This means that bathrooms (in certain parts of Japan) can get quite cold in the winter.
  • Bidet. This is the little spray wand that comes out and sprays your private parts clean. There are controls to reposition the wand as well as to change the intensity of the spray. More Intensity!
  • Fan. I don’t think this is a standard feature, but some of the more advanced units can fan your fanny dry after getting sprayed.
  • Bowl sprayer. This is another feature found on advanced units. When you walk into the room, a sensor will detect you and spray the bowl with some water, so your #2 won’t stick to it.
  • Tap/Sink. When you flush, the water that refills the tank comes out of a tap into a little sink on the top of toilet. In some places of business I’ve visited, this has been the only sink available. When used as hand wash sink, the water becomes grey water.
  • Small and large flushes. I think this is fairly common in the West now, but having a small and large flush size has been standard on most Japanese toilets for years.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you use the bidet (bum or private part sprayer) function?

To me it feels dirty using the ones in public places (the sprayer is supposed to be self-cleaning, but I’m not that trusting yet). However, since making this video I find myself using the bidet more often. Most Western style toilets in Japan do have toilets with bidets, but the Japanese style toilet (hole in the ground) of course does not.

The water sprays…doesn’t it get your bottom soaking wet? Do you have to use toilet paper to dry your whole bum? It seems like a big mess?

They sprayers are quite directional, so they don’t make as big of a mess as you may think. Some models also have dryers. I use toilet paper after spraying, but I don’t use any more than I would when normally wiping.

Where do I get a washlet (the name of the Japanese toilet seats)?

Online? Here’s a link to a popular brand (Toto) on Amazon.com. I don’t have a Toto, so can’t vouch for it, but there you go. They simply replace your toilet seat, so I think it can be fitted on most Western style toilets. They’re not hard to install, but you will need a power outlet to plug it into.

When it comes to smell, what do you guys do? Is there a special toilet feature for that or you just go basic with Lysol?

The bathroom has a fan. However, you can buy this scented container that sits under the tap, so that when the toilet is flushed water runs over it and makes everything smell nice.