Japanese history and culture captivates people around the world. But for the past 35 years, Japan has given travelers another source of wonderment. Japanese toilets turn simple trip to the restroom into an interesting experience.
The History of the High-Tech Japanese Toilet
The idea for high-tech toilets came from the US and Switzerland. Manufacturers designed these toilets for use in health care facilities. In 1967, Japanese toilet makers TOTO and LIXIL produced the “shower toilet” for Japanese homes. And in 1980, TOTO developed the famous Washlet toilet.
Since then, advanced Japanese toilets have become common in homes, restaurants, and public places. Let’s take a look at these high-tech Japanese toilets to see what makes them so great.
Japanese toilets offer many hands-free features. If you have to go in the middle of the night, under-lid lighting makes the toilet easier to see. Sensors will detect when you are close and will raise the lid for you. Some models can even detect which way someone is facing, and raise the lid and seat as needed.
Also, everyone knows about sitting on a cold toilet seat in the winter. But the advanced Japanese toilet? It keeps the seat warm. Some models even have air conditioning for hot summer days. For those who need to relax, some models offer music. Automatic air deodorizers keep the atmosphere fresh and pleasant.
What Do These Buttons Do?
Japanese toilets have many buttons. With a push, you can start a front or rear washing, increase the water pressure of the jet, or press that very helpful “stop” button.
Tourists find the buttons confusing. The symbols are strange, and the writing is only in Japanese. What if you push the wrong one? Will the toilet spray you?
To help, Japan’s Sanitary Equipment Industry Association has selected eight symbols to use on all future models. As the symbols become more common, travelers will find Japanese toilets easier to use.
The warm water spray is the best feature of the Japanese toilet. Users can choose between two water jets for cleaning and can adjust the water pressure for each. Some models spray a combination of water and soap for increased cleanliness. Others have pulsating jets, which can be good for constipation and hemorrhoids. The nozzles are also very sanitary, since they do not touch the user and self-clean afterwards.
The Japanese toilet is also environmentally conscious. Users can choose a large or small flush, and some have a hands-free flush.
Japan is still in the process of perfecting its high-technology toilets. Future features will include medical sensors will read a person’s blood sugar, blood pressure, and body fat content. Those readings then go to that person’s doctor via the internet.
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