Skip to content

What?! Public toilets… Why Foreigners Are Shocked at the Toilet Situation in Japan

Wherever you go in Japan, you will rarely have trouble finding a restroom. They are often clean and comfortable. Not only in train stations and department stores, but recently, toilets in bullet trains and airplanes are also equipped with hot-water washing toilet seats.
Such high-spec toilets in Japan are not only clean and comfortable, but also have "surprise points" for foreigners.
In this issue, we would like to introduce some of the differences between Japanese and foreign toilets that surprised us, based on interviews with foreigners conducted by LIVE JAPAN in the past (the following are personal opinions and impressions based on the experiences of the interviewees).
top image: Shutterstock

I was surprised that public toilets in Japan are free!

Image: PIXTA

"I was surprised to learn that public toilets in Japan are free! Public toilets in Paris are basically something you pay for. But they don't have toilet seats and are very dirty, so I never use them. When I am out and about, it is smart to use one at a restaurant or café. I also buy a cup of coffee and use the restroom," said a French man living in Tokyo.
Some people use the restroom in French cafes without buying anything. In an effort to prevent this, a French fast food restaurant has introduced an initiative.
"There is a fast food restaurant in France that has coded the keys to the toilets. The restrooms are locked to prevent non-users from using them. So, in order to enter, you have to enter the code printed on the receipt. Maybe this was the only way because of bad manners. In Japan, public restrooms are everywhere, even in restaurants and convenience stores, and they are free! I think Japan is the only country that has toilets that are that clean and well-equipped," he said.
Recently in Japan, we have begun to see some forms of charging or opening them only to customers using stores, but many people must still be surprised at the difference this time. For Japanese people, restrooms are a place where anyone can use freely whenever and wherever, but that is not the case in some places.

Quality toilet paper! I have a preference for thickness, but there's so much variety!

Image: PIXTA

"Japanese toilet paper is rather thin and softer than it looks. I honestly think this high level of technology and quality is amazing! I think Japan is the only country in the world where toilet paper is that soft!" A Chinese man in his twenties was very impressed with the quality of Japanese toilet paper.
Japanese toilet paper comes in a variety of types, including single-sheet type, double-ply, floral scented type,…

See More >>

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *