Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Japanese Bathrooms: Squat Toilets

As we discovered on our trip to Japan last year, Japanese bathrooms are very interesting places. Traditional squat toilets are still quite commonly found. Their basic design is the same, whether constructed of wood as this one in Takayama at the historic government offices of the Tokugawa Shogunate . . .


. . . or whether constructed of the finest porcelain and marble as this one in a ritzy Kyoto hotel:


Thank goodness, however, squat toilets are never the only option! At any given public bathroom, there is virtually always an equal or greater number of "western" toilets available. But of course the Japanese have improved on western design and made our style of toilet a million times better. Tomorrow I'll fill you in on the wonder and the glory that is a Japanese Toto Washlet.

[First photo by My Rare One; second photo by Debra She Who Seeks]

38 comments:

Laurie said...

we would have wonderful leg muscles if we used these wouldn't we, hard on bad knees though,

jaz@octoberfarm said...

i have found memories of my world travels but i feel they were more defined by the bathrooms than anything else. many of us like to sample the different cuisines and sights in foreign places but the bathrooms? not so much. and man have i gone in some real doozies!

greekwitch said...

Here in Greece most of the toilets in public schools are like that. I really do not know why. It is supposed to be for better hygiene but it is still really weird!






Yvonne said...

I have heard of these but have never experienced one. Better 'evacuation' they say.

Sulky Kitten said...

Those squat toilets are quite common in parts of Europe like France. I hate using them, but when in need...

Jim said...

Very interesting! Now these would require an 'adjustment' or two!!
Funny how I/we get so stuck in our ways.
Can't wait to see their western versions!

jadedj said...

Hey D, thanks for giving us the "low-down" on these babies.

DEZMOND said...

we have those in my country too, especially in poorer regions :( And in some schools, like Greekwitch said above.

Jeanne said...

I had heard of these but have never seen pics. When I first saw the picture of the porcelain version, I thought the photo was sideways. LOL
Can't wait to see the Washlet!

Southpaw said...

Awkward...

Francie M said...

Not sure I needed to know this, Debra, but now that it is in my brain, bring on the rest of it! :)

Chung said...

At least one wouldn't have to touch the toilet seat.

Green Monkey said...

what do you do if you have bad knee's and can't squat?

Last time I was in ireland (20+) years I used a bathroom at a tiny pub way in the country side. It was a room - 4 walls, dirt floor.

Laeli said...

Oh this is timely. I will be using one plenty of those suckers next year. Eeek! I feel so spoiled with out western comforts..

Plowing Through Life (Martha) said...

Way different from what we're used to. It would take some getting used to. When I visited Greece as a young child, I had the opportunity to visit an outhouse. It was quite an experience. Can't say I liked it very much!

The Happy Whisk said...

I don't know that I would care for these. Probably hard for guys to read in the crapper, with these kinds of toilets.

Dee said...

We had one of these in our house in Singapore and they were in most of the public bathrooms with one of two of our style toilets as well, thank goodness.

Akashic Cosmic Creations said...

Ive actually used one of those in Cuba at a camp site, its actually not that bad.

Birdie said...

I have never had the displeasure of using one. Aren't they really dirty for those who miss?

mistress maddie said...

That looks much too hard to use. Why do they use those like that I wonder? And could you imagine trying that drunk?

Sparkless said...

Oh my I'm trying to picture how I'd not get my clothing all wet using that.

Professor Chaos said...

Eeeewww. Now I can never go to Japan.

Cheryl said...

I must live under a rock. I have never even heard of these. I have been confused by some toilets in Europe but they at least resembled western toilets. Very interesting.

Fundy Blue said...

Hi Debra! These photos brought back memories of squat toilets in Malaysia and Thailand. What cracked me up at some of the smaller airports was going into western style toilets and seeing footprints on the toilet seats! We're all set in our ways, East or West!

Nina Gray said...

I agree with Chung's "At least one wouldn't have to touch the toilet seat."

Doug Jamieson said...

Can be rather unpleasant for Westerners. In South Asia, it is unacceptable to throw anything into the squat toilet, which rules out toilet paper, unless you are prepared to stow it in a Ziploc and take it with you. In rural areas, they can be just a hole in the floor, with a jug of water for personal "clean up." Baby wipes and a baggie are a good solution.

Frostbite and Sunburn said...

Oh dear - reminds me of too many camping holidays in France when I was younger. Me no likey!

Magic Love Crow said...

I think if I used this, I would never be able to get back up! LOL!

Riot Kitty said...

That was kind of a shock when we went there - especially in the places that did not have "Western style." And I remember thinking the most miserable job in the world would be the person we saw in the department store who went in with a Clorox wipe type thing AFTER EACH USER.

Hindustanka said...

Well..in India squat toilets are very common. Every house has them as well as one (may be two) western.we have such in our house. when I also saw such I was surprised, and first... well..it's not easy to get used to it :)hehe

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laughingwolf said...

if i MUST squat, i'll do it in the woods... thankyouverymuch ;)

quietmind279 said...

ok I WOULD not want to use one of those...no thanks.....lol

Dancing Goddess said...

All joking aside, yes Ms Sarcasm just said that, I've read that squatting during a bowel movement is the most healthy way of evacuating the bowels. Do you know how hard it is for me to walk away from this comment without a smartass remar?

JACKIESUE said...

I don't want one.

heartinhand said...

Squat toilets are for young people. LOL!

ammu said...

Hi, I'm from India and here, squat toilets are the norm and Western style toilets are gradually replacing them. Personally I prefer the western style "throne" in my own bathroom because it is comfortable and only my ass is touching it. But in a public bathroom I prefer the squat toilet since no part of your body except your shoes touches it. In India people wash their asses with their left hand rather than use the toilet paper and they are grossed out by the Western habit of just wiping around the anus. But I think the Indian way of washing poop off your ass using your left hand (traditionally it is the left hand) is equally gross. So I wash my ass using a spray hose. That way I'm always clean. See, I have the best of both the worlds.

Michael Jefferies said...

Wait...These aren't toilets in Edmonton. But still, this is truly something else!