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Toilet story


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Today, let me write about a very important topic: toilets. Sure, it's all very well to write about Mount Fuji, the millenary Ise temples or the symbolism in sumo fights, but we all have basic needs, right?...

So let's get to the point. At first sight, the local model does not seem much different from what one can find abroad:

Not much different...except for the control panel located on the side! Let's have a closer view:

Don't panic! This panel "just" gives access to several functionalities that will transform a mere toilet break into a wonderful and unforgettable least I guess that's the kind of stuff companies write to sell their products. The number of functions greatly varies with the model, I've chosen this one that has quite a few.

Let's start with the left half:

The three buttons at the right on the top row are rather self-explanatory, they activate a water jet that cleans up...what needs to be cleaned up. I was a bit skeptical when I first saw that but now I'm 100% positive, it is far superior to regular toilet paper, which is then only used for the drying part of the "process".

Right below, you can adjust the jet pressure but also its position!

The top left button stops the jet. Don't hesitate to use it in emergency case if, like me when I came to Japan 5 years ago and didn't understand Japanese, you start the jet at full power by me, I wish that never happens to you!...

At this point, you might think it is enough...but guess what, they still managed to add more functions!!! Check out the right half of the panel:

From left to right:

  • deodorant
  • water temperature, as well as seat temperature(!) adjustment
  • power saving mode...(I can't believe what I'm writing)
  • nozzle cleaning

At my company, we have neither the deodorant nor the energy saver, but instead we got a warm air dryer, with adjustable temperature of course!...

If you're about my age, you might have spent a significant amount of hours in the toilets playing Tetris on your Gameboy when you were younger...I wish I had those toilets at that time...

So what can we expect in the future? Seriously I don't know, I don't think I'd even be surprised if they added a mp3 or dvd player, a coffee machine or a pizza ordering system for long stays...please read the related wikipedia article, it has some hilarious stories...

Anyway if you don't understand Japanese, don't freak out, they've usually left the flush handle so you can safely dispose of all the pieces of evidence you might have left. Although sometimes you need to trigger a sensor by waving your hand, or press a button labelled in Japanese. In those cases...good luck!

Category: Everyday life

11 comment(s)

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By Jérôme on 02/07/2008 at 20:47:02

Rhhhaaa, le siege des WC chauffant, mon rêve. Des années que je réclame ça, surtout en hiver :o).

By Nico on 02/08/2008 at 08:25:10

Ah... cette plongée dans un monde inconnu et fascinant... L'ethnologie sous sa forme la plus pure ^^
Merci Hervé ! :)

By BorKo on 02/08/2008 at 09:47:46

Enorme !!!!

By Emilie on 02/12/2008 at 11:35:33

Coucou Hervé,
Merci pour toutes ces explications qui m'ont beaucoup amusée tu t'en doutes !
Toutefois, il me semblait avoir lu qu'il existait aussi un bouton pour imiter le bruit de la chasse d'eau afin qu'aucun bruit inoppportun ne puisse être entendu par les voisins éventuels.
L'invention de ce bouton spécial faisait en effet suite à une observation (scientifique) : les gens tiraient la chasse d'eau avant, et après aussi (rassure toi), ce qui consommait beaucoup d'eau !
Grosses bises.

By Emilie on 02/13/2008 at 18:09:33

Ah oui, c'est la "Princesse du son", très bien décrite dans l'article de wikipédia que tu cites (un grand moment de bonheur, ça aussi) !

By Tarto on 02/21/2008 at 06:14:09

Ne me remerciez pas, je suis content d'avoir pu vous apporter, grâce à cet article, une part de rêve et d'exotisme dans un quotidien parfois morne.
Emilie, j'ai découvert la "princesse du son" sur wikipedia également, étant donné qu'on ne la trouve que dans les toilettes pour femmes. Mais tiens, je vais faire un sondage auprès de quelques copines pour savoir ce qu'elles en pensent !

By Fil on 02/25/2008 at 22:56:32

Have a look at Laura's blog. If you don't have this DS game already, I will be very surprised.

By Matthieu on 02/26/2008 at 16:32:10

T R O P F O R T !
Sans déc', ton blog me donne trop envie de visiter le Japon ! Je suis par ailleurs, fan de sushi au point que dès que je vais dans une "grande" ville je cherche un (resto) japonais !
^_^ Matt

By Tarto on 03/02/2008 at 16:35:12

Fil: I've heard about the game but I don't have it. It looks perfect for beginners, and much better than the PSP version thanks to the stylus, but I just can't imagine playing hard songs without destroying the DS screen!... And I prefer the feel of the arcade game: banging that big taiko is so awesome!
Matthieu : je t'ai envoyé un mail

By Caroline on 03/17/2008 at 10:52:31

Yes its nice, we learn a lot. I was surfing on the internet and i saw your website and i was like " woaa, you're so lucky. I always want to travel in Japan" so, dats it and continu ;D

By Elise on 10/02/2008 at 17:51:03

j'adore ! c'est énorme ... :-)

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