Naturally, different countries have different cultures! One of the things related to culture is the “toilet situation.” You may ask, “Isn’t a restroom always the same in every country?” What about it?
We asked Australian men, American men, and Italian women visiting Japan, how they felt as foreigners when it came to Japanese toilets, especially those that they had never seen before coming to Japan. We also asked about the difference from their home country.
(The following reflects the opinion of the interviewees only)

I don’t know how to use a Japanese-style toilet

The older Japanese-style toilets are less common and not too familiar even to Japanese people. You may think that there are almost none left in the country. However, according to a survey conducted by the Japan Tourism Agency in 2016, 10,181 units, or 42% of the 24,525 toilets in Japan's major tourist attractions, are of the so-called “Japanese-style.”
Surprisingly, it’s many more than one would expect! So what did foreigners think when they first saw this kind of toilet?
“I've been to China before, so when I saw a Japanese-style toilet in Japan, I was already used to it. But I was a little surprised! I don’t really want to have to use a Japanese-style toilet for a long time because my knees would hurt. If I can choose between a Japanese-style toilet and a Western-style one, I would choose the western one.” (Australian man)
“I have never used a Japanese-style toilet.” (American man)
“I never used Japanese-style toilets, but so far I have never had any issue with bathrooms in Japan.” (Italian woman)
It seems that many foreigners don’t know how to use a Japanese-style toilet when they first see one. If you are used only to Western toilets, it may be hard to picture how to use the Japanese ones.
The Japanese toilet is also called “squat toilet” by foreigners. The reason why this name is used, it’s probably because of the position, and the stress on the thighs, when using it, making it similar to the homonymous legs exercise.

The first time I used a warm water jet toilet seat, I was so surprised I jumped!

Toilet seats with hot water bidets incorporated in them are common in Japanese Western-style toilets. However, did you know that these TOTO bidets and other warm-water jet toilet seats are actually not very popular overseas? I asked foreigners if they use hot water jet toilet seats in their country!
“There is no warm water toilet seat in Australia. I’ve never seen it. I wonder if it’s considered too weird…” (Australian man)
“In the United States, warm water toilet seats are not common. M…

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