30.08.2012 - 28.09.2012
Japan – oh such a different place to the rest of Asia that I have seen. And I LOVE it! Clean, quiet, and doesn’t want money for helping you (I have ‘deeply offended’ a couple of Japanese for saying no to their offers of genuine help as I was not going to pay them)
There are many things in Japan that are so very different to the rest of the world. My first topic is going to be toilets!
Being a seasoned traveller I have seen many many many different toilets around the world and have used them all too. From my own dug out toilet (Australia) to a piece of tarp wrapped around some sticks with 2 planks of wood over a teeny stream (Vietnam), to absolute filth but with an amazing view of the sun setting over the desert (Morocco), to amazing rooms that have everything you could possibly want (France) and so many more! Well toilets in Japan are firstly clean! Haven’t found a dirty one yet and they all have toilet paper – luxury.
First toilet I want to discuss is the one in Merilyn’s flat. Coming from Australia where we have issues with water shortage I just don’t understand why these toilets have not made it across the waters. The toilet has a little sink on top of it. When you flush the toilet, clean water comes out of the tap so you can wash your hands and then that now dirty water fills up the cistern for the next flush! Amazing concept. Every time I go I am impressed with it!
Automatic sensors are everywhere in the world but they are very popular in Japan – from warming the toilet seat to flushing to the soap that comes out to wash your hands with (and of course the water too). Now I do have a problem with automatic sensors. Problem number 1: sometimes you are just not ready for the toilet to flush. Maybe you move a little bit on the seat to get a bit more comfortable or you think you have finished but you haven’t – and off goes the flush (not good if you are still sitting!). How do you get the toilet to flush again? Do you have to sit on it again? Ahhh the concerns of automatic flushing. Problem number 2: when I think that everything is going to have an automatic sensor. This is ok when you are in the cubicle and you are waiting for the toilet to flush and then you realise that you have to actually press a button yourself BUT it is a little embarrassing (I find anyway) when you have your hands underneath the soap dispenser or the tap waiting for the soap or water to come out and you are waving your hands underneath the tap and then see someone next to you turn the tap on! I call for our politicians to make automatic sensors in bathrooms compulsory so that there is no confusion!
Warm water, cold water, front wash, back wash, music or toilet flushing sounds are some of the many choices you have in a Japanese toilet. The toilets are plugged in to electricity so that you can have all of these choices and more at the press of a button. I have tried all buttons so far with some interesting experiences. The sound effects are great if you get a little stage fright in the toilet when there are other people around or you just have to a great big fart. Going to the toilet in Japan is not as simple as you would think!