Toilets

Open stall indicators, fresh flowers, and the superb cleanliness of a Japanese highway restroom

On long car trips in the U.S., I didn’t really find the prospect of using a highway rest stop bathroom significantly more appealing than just holding it until I got to my destination, whether that meant waiting until the next city or the next state. Honestly, given how filthy a lot of the public toilets were, I was generally happier with a deserted stretch of road or a grove of trees I could pull over near.

In Japan, though, it’s a different story, as this video of a rest stop bathroom shows it to be cleaner and classier than the one in many people’s homes.

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Tokyo schoolgirls invent eco and cost-friendly portable toilet for disaster relief【Video】

Although we explored public restrooms the world over in a previous article, we left out the fact that many refugees, natural disaster survivors, and other displaced people have no access to the modern plumbing many of us take for granted. For those living in areas where public toilets are unavailable, a trip to the bathroom is at best a chore, and at worst a major sanitary concern.

Luckily technological advances are being made in order to help remedy these problems, and so far 2015 has been a promising year in that regard. UK researchers and volunteers were able to successfully create an urine-powered outhouse, while over in Japan a high school girls’ volunteer club recently came up with a new economic and hygienic portable toilet option.

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What do toilets the world over look like? Check out this video to find out 【Video】

Love and music may not have borders, but neither do other universal concepts like the call of nature.

Although Japan is famous for its modern toilet technology (there’s even a museum now), many non-Eastern Asians are often taken aback when they visit the country and have their first encounter with the older, squatting kind. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, they’re a staple in most Japanese schools, parks, and stations.

The fact that there’s such a gap in modern toilet technology got us curious about how toilet models and their degree of upkeep varies worldwide, and fortunately one brave soul has gone through the trouble of filming bathrooms across the globe to answer this very question.
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We explore the evolution of the toilet at Kitakyushu’s newly opened TOTO Museum

What would modern life be like without the humble toilet? Actually, we’d rather not think about that.

Many of us around the world should direct our thanks to TOTO Ltd., the world’s largest manufacturer of toilets and the very company that invented the washlet. In fact, Friday, August 28 marked the grand opening of the new TOTO Museum in Fukuoka Prefecture, where the company was originally founded in 1917.

Takashi Harada, our Japanese reporter who proclaims that he couldn’t survive a day without a washlet, immediately made a bee line to the new sanctuary to give thanks to the toilet gods and to learn a bit about the historical evolution of the toilet.

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Pissed-off company president sues building owner for pee splash-back from urinals

Earlier this week, what is being hailed as Japan’s “trial of the century” by many (in our office) has come to an abrupt end. The Osaka District Court handed down some rough justice in the case of a company president who sued the building he was renting office space from to the tune of 840,000 yen (US$6,800).

The president’s claim that the building’s urinals had caused excessive splash-back of pee were dismissed due to several reasons including the president’s own “pee experiments” being deemed inadmissible by the courts.

Was the president a quack who didn’t know how to urinate correctly? Or was he a victim of greedy cost cutting landlords and toilet moguls? This is their story based on court documents.

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Just how clean are Japan’s high-tech public restroom bidet-equipped toilets?

After cars and video game consoles, fancy toilets just might be Japan’s best-known technological achievement. In a society that prizes cleanliness, it’s no surprise that being able to push a button and have a warm stream of water wash your backside has become one creature comfort many can’t do without.

As such, just about everyone in Japan is happy to have a washlet, as bidet-equipped toilets are called here, in their home. Some people can’t help but wonder, though, if they’re spraying someone else’s fecal matter back up on themselves when they use a washlet in a public restroom.

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Super Mega Important Debate – Japanese squat toilets: Great or gross? 【Poll closed】

Picture the scene: you’re waiting for your number to be called at City Hall or some other municipal building in rural Japan, when suddenly your stomach starts growling and your gut begins to twitch and spasm as that super-greasy kimchi ramen you had for lunch is pushed at top speed through your digestive tract. If you don’t go now – right now – things could get messy fast, so you make a beeline for the restroom and hope that there’s a stall free. Inside the restroom, you charge towards the half-open door on the end, a layer of sweat forming on your brow as your body starts counting down, T-minus 10 seconds to total evacuation.

Then it hits you: the stall you’re standing in is fitted not with a luxurious, bidet-equipped, warms your backside and plays music at you Washlet brand of toilet, but an old-school, upside-down urinal built into the floor Japanese squat toilet.

There’s no backing out now. The deed must be done. The question is, how traumatised will you be after using it?

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Deodorizing toilet paper hits the Japanese hat trick of cute animals, cleanliness, and puns

Isn’t it infuriating when you run into one of those completely pompous people who strut around like their poo doesn’t stink? Seriously, there’s just no excuse for that sort of behavior, because everyone’s poo stinks. Even in Japan, all that delicious food doesn’t make anyone’s toilet deposits smell any better.

Thankfully, that doesn’t mean your bathroom has to smell bad, too, especially with these two new types of deodorizing toilet paper, which come in adorable packages decorated like cats and dogs.

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10 things that make Japan female-friendly【Women in Japan Series】

We at RocketNews24 previously told you about 10 Things Japan Gets Awesomely Right. Now we want to tell you about ten more things that are equally awesome, but especially for women in Japan. It doesn’t mean that men don’t also find these things impressive, but we’re betting that some of these have never been noticed by men, because, well, they were designed with women in mind.

Every woman likes to be pampered every now and then, and in Japan it’s just too easy to get used to some of the every day niceties we enjoy! Of course the Japanese are known for being polite, which helps tremendously to get through any stressful day, but Japan goes that extra step sometimes to make things that much nicer. After all, it’s the little things in life that matter, right?

So here’s our list of 10 things that make it so darn nice to be a woman in Japan. Get ready, ’cause you’re gonna love these!

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Smart kitty claims the toilet faucet as its napping ground, gives only an inch due to running water

Cats are known throughout the world for their amazing ability to put themselves exactly where they don’t belong. Whether they’re plunged deep where the sun doesn’t shine into a narrow crawl space or looking down on their “hoomans” from the attic, there’s no end to their hiding spots.

However, one Japanese Twiter user found her cat in what could best be described as a “compromising” position…under the toilet faucet!

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Everything you think you know about your washlet toilet is wrong

Here at RocketNews24 we love a good toilet story, whether it’s the health benefits of old-school squatters or a visit to a long drop. And the washlet toilet, with its wash-and-blow dry function, noise-masking function and hilariously perplexing control panels, is one of Japan’s most famous inventions.

But what if, just like Napoleon’s height and the Vikings’ spiky helmets, the ultimate icon of technological wizardry is also surrounded by misconception and mystery? What if (almost) everything we know about super-toilets is wrong?

Think you know your washlet? Think again.

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Impress house guests with toilet paper origami!

Hotel and restaurant bathrooms have really done a number on us by introducing a new level of hospitality through toilet paper etiquette. When the next sheet of paper on the roll is folded into a neat triangular point, we’re made to feel that extra bit special, safe in the knowledge that the area has recently been attended to, as if the place was just done up in anticipation of our arrival.

One lady in the United States has taken the triangular toilet paper fold to a whole new level, incorporating traditional Japanese origami concepts to produce a book of cute, funny and surprisingly beautiful designs to dress up the toilet roll in your bathroom. From swans to candles, who knew toilet paper could be so adorable?

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Life hacks from Japan: Cancelling a stop on an elevator, amazing curry and more

Have you ever gotten on an elevator in the lobby, pressed the button for the seventh floor, and then groaned with the realization that you needed the sixth? Or had to throw out a pair of scissors grown dull through years of use?

There are millions of small annoyances and frustrations that seem basically unavoidable. They’re not really serious, but wouldn’t it be nice if someone could go around making our lives easier? While that probably won’t happen until the robot revolution (come on, WALL-E!), there are a few tricks that you can use to fix these tiny frustrations, so join us after the break for some awesome life hacks from Japan!

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Foreigners in Japan must grow accustomed to distinctive Japanese designs

When raised within relatively homogenous culture like Japan, one rarely ever considers how their everyday surroundings might seem strange to someone from another country. And I don’t just mean the historical landmarks and traditional clothing. I’m talking about items encountered in everyday life like home toilets, product packaging and cell phones. Japan’s culture has shaped the designs of these various places and products in ways that most Japanese people would never think to realize are different from their foreign counterparts.

Hoping to shine light on a few of those surprising little differences, My Navi News recently conducted a survey asking 20 foreigners living in Japan which things they considered to be of a “totally different design” when comparing Japan to their home country. Here’s what a handful of the respondents had to say.

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Public restroom inspires creative thinking, results questionable

No one likes using public toilets, do they?

With the smell, the uncomfortable and unfamiliar surroundings, and the fear of butt-cooties latching onto our heinies, it’s only out of desperation that most people will drop their pants and park their naked butts onto a public toilet seat. So when one of the more fastidious members of society is faced with a dire situation, what do they do?

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12 disappointing things for Japanese people traveling in the US

Here at RocketNews24, we mostly talk about Japan and other Asian countries, doing our best to offer a sort of “Western perspective” on this fun and fascinating continent. And if you think we love doing it, well, you’re certainly right!

But sometimes it helps to have a little balance—you can’t eat kakigori every day for every meal after all—so today we’re happy to bring you a Japanese perspective on visiting the United States of America! While many Japanese people enjoy visiting the United States, there are some things that can end up being a bit… disappointing.

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