Japanese Toilets #1 – The squat toilets

I like Japanese toilets.
Well at least most of them that I’ve encountered.

(If you’re s sensitive person, you should stop reading here. This post will not concern flowers and butterflies. ^^)

Types that I definitely don’t like are the squat toilets.

Japanese squat toilet

Japanese squat toilet

They are quite rare nowadays I would say. Fortunately. Sometimes there’s a squat-toilet option in certain ladies’ (and men’s) rooms though. I’ve only used this kind once. Never again.

Japanese squat toilets

Japanese squat toilets

First time a western person – like myself – encounter a squat-toilet, it might be difficult to figure out how to use it. Therefore there are sometimes explanatory signs available. Like this one! (It was found in a government office building.)

How to use a Japanese squat toilet

How to use a Japanese squat toilet

There are also instruction signs that explains how NOT to do it (Click for larger pictures):

If you still would be uncertain, here’s a detailed description:


1. Pull your pants down around your ankles or lift your skirt prior to squatting above the floor toilet. If you aren’t confident in your ability to relieve yourself without getting urine or feces onto your clothes, remove the clothing from your bottom half completely.

2.Squat over the floor toilet, standing as near to the raised hood as possible. Squatting too far back over the toilet can cause the excrement to fall over the back edge of the toilet and onto the floor.

3.Hold onto the metal tubing in front of the floor toilet for support if you aren’t accustomed to squatting. This will prevent you from accidentally falling backwards into the toilet.

4. Pull the lever to flush the toilet, which will release water from the attached reservoir to flush the excrement out of the toilet. Some floor toilets come equipped with both a “small” and a “large” flush option to conserve water. In these toilets, the “small” option should be used when flushing urine only. Source

Japaneses seem to a have certain interest for toilets and they also seem to have a bit weird toilet humor. The following pictures shows “200-year-old Japanese toilet humor”:

They are known as He-gassen (roughly translated to “fart battle”). Their real purpose though concerned a political statement. But still…

I also want to mention the Japanese toilet-paper that is so soft it almost dissolves in your hands. It’s very hard to use and easily get stuck… you know where.

Do flush it down.

Do flush it down.

What’s good about it is that is dissolves very quickly in water and hence diminishes the risk of clogging the pipes when flushed.

Japanese toilet paper is soft

Japanese toilet paper is soft

Well, let’s leave those squat-toilets now. Next time I will talk about the COOL Japanese toilets! ^^

Categories: Japanese inventions

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8 replies »

  1. I stora delar av Kambodja, Vietnam och Laos är det bara sådana här som gäller. Själv så vande jag mig vid det och på ett sätt känns det bättre då man inte behöver sätta sig på en ring där man inte vet vad som varit innan. (Men det har säkert japanerna löst redan va?)

    • Very often, there’s a container on the wall with disinfectant and a sign encouraging people to clean the toilet-seat after themselves.

  2. I learned a long time ago, from camping, that the squat toilet is best! For the human form it is simply the easiest way to have a “movement.” Sitting on a toilet seat makes you tend to fight/or push more to do #2, and easier to keep sanitized, rather than a big, bulky, sweaty, too many crevices to clean, American toilet.

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