As you may or may not know, there are two types of Japanese toilets. One type, the western style toilet, is very near and dear to my heart because I been using it since I was just a little lad. The other type of toilet, the eastern style, is very different from what I’m used to (to say the least), and I can’t stand using it.
The Japanese Western Style Toilets (洋式)
When referring the the foreign or western style toilet, you can use the Japanese term 洋式トイレ(ようしきといれ or yoshiki toire). Some of the western style toilets here in Japan are the most luxurious way to do your “business” that I have ever seen. Many public restrooms have western style toilets. If the store is a slightly higher-end to upscale, or if you’re lucky, you get the western toilet with the special bonus…THE WASHLET!! The washlet is an electronic powered device that sprays a stream of water directly into your “business place” (i.e.-anus for those who want more direct terms, lol). Some washlets have dials to control the tempertature. So if it’s a hot day, what better way to beat the heat than an as* cooling? On those winter days, warm washlet water can be glorious.
Then there is the dial for spray power. Turning the dial to low power setting can give you a gentle yet refreshing trickle to help you get clean. Turning the dial to highest power levels gets the water pressure to be high enough to reach your small intestine :O (it kinda hurts). I AM JOKING! The highest pressure isn’t nearly that high.
I used to be against that washlet, but they do get you pretty fresh, and the washlets I’ve used have been in immaculately clean bathrooms complete with mint disinfectant sprays for the toilet seats. I know many Americans aren’t fans of bidets and washlet. But if you’re in Japan, and you see one of these, at least give it a try once…even if you hate it. Try out the technology just to say you did. Dare I say you might even like it???
Japanese Style Toilets (和式)
The Japanese style toilet, 和式トイレ (わしきといれ or washiki toire) wash definitely one of the Japanese culture shocks for me. I remember my first time seeing one of these “hole-in-the-floor” toilets. I thought to myself “Heh, heh, they must be doing construction or something because there’s a whole in the floor where the toilet should be.” After seeing man come out of one of the stalls that had one of the holes in the floor. I thought “Wait! That IS the toilet?!?”
“Get outta here!”
“That’s not a toilet, that’s just a space in the floor.”
“What the hell do you expect me to do with that?!”
Eventually I put two and two together and realized that you had to really get down there and squat in order to go to the bathroom. I tried it only once, and I really didn’t like it.
Doing human, super squat made me feel like I was on the latest episode of Animal Planet or something. My brain had a hard time figuring out whether the position was uncomfortably awkward or awkwardly uncomfortable (perhaps it was a bit of both). I’m sure It really shouldn’t be such an issue, because the body is in prime position to easily rid itself of the internal waste it’s carrying.
But the fact remains, I just can’t bring myself to make using the 和式トイレ, Japanese style toilet, a habit. A buddy of mine brought up a really good point, “What if you have diarrhea, God forbid?” (I’m really not trying to be gross or anything). There’s just a bit too much butt to toilet space, and it seems like things could go horrendously wrong.
I’ll try most things once, but for the Japanese-style toilet, I’m afraid one time is all I’ve got in me.
QUESTION TO THE READERS,5: Have you tried using a washlet? Or a floor toilet? What did you think the first time you tried it? (Don’t be bashful, lol )
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