Screen Shot 2013-11-03 at 1.12.09 AMSquat toilets aside, Japan’s technological achievements in the restroom are well-known. From seat warmers to washlets and noise-eliminators, Japan is probably the number one place to go number two. But what does the country of the advanced-thinking toilet think of restrooms around the world? Read below to find out!

1. The case of the missing seat in Europe

2013.11.1 european seat

Public toilets in a lot of European countries can lack what Japanese count as a basic right of toilets: the seat. The best way to conquer this challenge is just to sort of squat and hover over the seatless toilet. We recommend a healthy regiment of core-strengthening Pilates prior to your trip to the loo in the Louvre.

2. Bidet

2013.11.1 european bidet

Something else surprising on a trip to Europe is the existence of an extra porcelain fixture in an otherwise “normal-looking” restroom. Japanese tourists may be surprised to see something that for them is just another part of the toilet seat.

3. Toilet paper quality

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Apparently, Japanese visitors to the UK complain about the toilet paper there saying it cannot absorb very well. Some even claim they can easily jot down ideas with a pen on British TP. But it’s not just the UK, it seems like Japan holds most of Europe’s toilet paper in contempt as well.

4. Toilet paper distance

2013.11.1 TP holding

In Japan, restroom visitors are treated to toilet paper within arm’s reach of the porcelain throne. But overseas, the length of an arm can be a bit too long. Some tourists to the UK report the toilet paper there being as far as 1.5m away.

5. Non-flushable toilet paper

2013.11.1 TP in the bin

In places such as Greece, Brazil and South Korea, a lot of places ask that used toilet paper be put into a bin nearby instead of being flushed down the toilet. Either the toilet paper there is really strong or the plumbing system can’t handle the extra load. Let’s hope these restrooms make liberal use of odor-masking deodorants.

6. No toilet paper

2013.11.1 thai no TP

Japanese visitors to Southeast Asia and India may prefer the toilet paper troubles mentioned above when they find out many places in these regions don’t have it at all. Instead, these restrooms require you to use mother nature’s original toilet paper: your hand. Just make sure you wash up afterwards.

7. Switzerland’s draconian toilet laws

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While you make take the freedom of 24-hour toilet use for granted, Swiss landlords are much stricter with such luxuries. Apparently, many apartment buildings in Switzerland ban the disruptive act of flushing after 10:00 PM out of consideration for neighbors. No word on whether the light-sleeping country allows late night use of non-flushable toilets.

8. Very tall and very public Dutch urinals

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This public urinal configuration in the Netherlands packs a double whammy for some Japanese men. Not only is the opportunity for “stage fright” greater, but at 10 cm shorter on average than Dutch men, Japanese men might find themselves straining to reach the proper height…

9. No restrooms in New York subways

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Japanese tourists are usually surprised to see a complete lack of public bathrooms in subway stations in New York. In the city’s 468 stations, only 77 have restrooms and most of them are either incredibly filthy or never open. Some have even been turned into newsstands, like the one pictured above at Astor Place. The usual response from New York authorities comes down to increased cleaning costs and worrying about drugs, crime and terrorism. (Author’s note: as a somewhat seasoned New Yorker, if you need to go, skip Starbucks [the unofficial public bathrooms of Manhattan] and head to Bryant Park)

10. Lack of privacy in U.S. restrooms

2013.11.1 USA restroom

Public bathrooms in the U.S. can be a little frightening for Japanese visitors since American stalls tend to have large gaps between the doors and the wall, not to mention the wide space underneath the stall walls. Once again, American authorities cite the need to curtail sex, drugs and crime for the lack of privacy.

11. No privacy in Chinese restrooms

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But no country beats China in their quest for the least amount of privacy. Many Chinese restrooms force you to get a little friendly with the person squatting next to you. Those with “performance issues” may want to visit at off-peak hours or keep to an all-liquid diet.

12. The “bum gun”

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Due to Islamic hygienic laws, many restrooms in Muslim countries come equipped with a “bum gun,” or a shower nozzle used as a hand-held bidet. This is because water is needed to purify your body after defecation. Just make sure you have good aim and take notice of the water pressure.

Do you have a funny or thought-provoking international restroom experience to add to our toilet talk? Let us know in the comments below if you ever found yourself confused about answering the call of nature overseas!

Source: Nanapi
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