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Japan proud of its high-tech toilets

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Toto, who has manufacturing in the U.S., sells a fair number of bidet seats. But with costing twice the price of an "average" toilet, the product remains a niche market.

The heat only models make little sense in North America where probably 90% of all houses and apartments are insulated, have central heating and where large parts of the populace live in areas of the country where it's rarely cold.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

I don't personally feel the need for crappy (excuse me) recordings of running water to mask the sounds made by the expulsion of various solids, semi-solids, liquids and gases. But the cleansing operation of the Japanese "washlet" is superb.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

I am a fan of these toilets, although I do not care for the flushing sound intended to hide the sounds of what everyone knows we all go to do to a toilet. (Ha!). However, using the bidet functions of a public toilet? Is that even sanitary? Not sure but... Big Eww! No!

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Yes but most stores, I've visited recenty, have turned off the power (no heat/water) to save money. Abenomics in action. The high tech toilet has become a 'bog standard' bog.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Japanese bidet toilets are great; for some people. We have one in our house in NZ but people who come to our house see them as unnecessary or even unhygienic (spraying the air with a feces mist - "gross"). They will never take off in the West.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Japan is readying to lift the lid on what could be its most effective global marketing gimmick yet: the high-tech toilet seat.

So, on the one hand we have say the U.S. with companies like Apple bringing revolutionary products like the iPod, iPad, etc to the marketplace, or SK with Samsung, and then we have Japan, bringing better toilets, because Sony, Sharp, Panaosonic, etc. are just shadows of there former selves. Guess Japan truly is going into the dumper.

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

Proud of its high-tech toilets. . . Which those & rice cookers are the only really "high-tech" anything coming out of Japan lately.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Sometimes I feel as though I'm sitting in Captain Kirk's command seat when I'm doing my morning business. Just being able to heat the seat is a brilliant idea I've enjoyed on many a frigid winter morning when the rest of our un-insulated house is chilly enough to bring vapor with every breath. We don't have the washlet or bidet functions there, but I've used them at hotels and been glad to have them. Any way you use them, Japanese toilets are indeed civilized marvels!

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Any way you use them, Japanese toilets are indeed civilized marvels!

But they got to remember to wash their hands too. A common civilized practice overlooked by japanese.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

"We have one in our house in NZ but people who come to our house see them as unnecessary or even unhygienic (spraying the air with a feces mist - "gross")."

Ha ha ha ha ha ha, lol, I can't believe some people would think washlets are unhygienic, as without them all we have to clean our buttholes after taking a dump is toilet paper, unless you take a shower/bath.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Marvellous inventions. The user manual for one of mine is 70 pages of A4!

Yes but most stores, I've visited recenty, have turned off the power .....

Do you make a habit of regularly visiting stores to do your number twos?

(spraying the air with a feces mist - "gross"

Ridiculous; you do that every time you fart.

These toilets cannot be installed in many countries because electrical regulations do not allow power outlets in bathrooms or have other similar prohibitions.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Love having them at home but never use the spray function in public ones.

The nozzle can look pretty yucky if you take a closer look.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I'm importing them to Canada, and I don't feel any financial risk, just the warm and expressive appreciation of Japanese invention. Sit and contemplate, ye naysayers!

5 ( +10 / -5 )

I think demand will go global eventually. The future of the Japanese economy is in the toilet.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

No doubt.... the story of Japan and its toilets as been overplayed for years. Do they have one with facial recognition yet. Mom would like that.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The nozzle can look pretty yucky if you take a closer look.

Right. I once saw a nozzle coated with so much fecal matter, I pondered how the stream of water could actually spurt to its objective. Let alone, all the other microscopic contaminated fecal matter being spurted along with it.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

High-tech toilet sheet is surely comfy and make us happy but

 now it's getting as matter-of-factly. Japanese sensitivity to give it a

twist in such an apparatus may come from Japanese artisan-sprits.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

I like these toilets, but don't own one as where I live we are not even connected to common sewage. So It's nice "treat" to have the occasional blast, gasp & dry.

But I have read a report ( can't find the link) which states that constant long term use of these anal cleaners has negative effects. Some I recall - are the constant "wetting" of the region has increased the cases of allergic anal irritation; the sparkling clean function destroys good bacteria(yes there are good bacteria there also) which has lead to other infectious problems ; water being too hot and too powerful causing anal / rectal tissue problems..........!

Most of the associated problems were caused by "frequent users", those that used multiple times daily. When surveyed most owners fitted this category and in fact felt reluctant to use a "standard old fashioned" toilet, opting to hold on until getting to a modern version or home.

So I won't be getting one, but instead continue to use on those "special occasions" when i feel like treating myself.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Love having them at home but never use the spray function in public ones.

Do a little experiment in your conversation classes. Get the female students started on the wonders of the washlet ... then ask them if they actually use them outside of their own homes. I have never, ever met a Japanese woman who used a washlet in a public washroom, ever. Only foreign tourists do that!

But I have read a report ( can't find the link) which states that constant long term use of these anal cleaners has negative effects.

I've read elsewhere that they are thought to be a contributing factor to rising infertility rates in Japan. Not sure why, though.

The future of the Japanese economy is in the toilet.

I nearly fell off my chair with laughter! Two thumbs up!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Japanese high tech toilets are a must for Japanese homes. I've never yearned for one when I was in the states (even when I lived in North Dakota) or Europe. I accidentally pushed the button for the anal cleaner and I was frantically pushing buttons like crazy to make it stop. Unfortunately, it wouldn't stop. Eek! Now, I don't play around with those buttons when using the public toilets.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Bah. I get by with a shovel and yesterday's newspaper.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@wc626: Yeah, just ignore all the TVs, consoles, robots, cars, etc. they produce..Clearly the only thing Japan is known for is toilets and rice cookers. /sarcasm

3 ( +4 / -1 )

It becomes the norm and when you travel to other place you feel that the toilet is not hygienic. I make me feel very comfortable when I am oversea and I can not wait to get back to Japan and civilisation.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I am sorry, but the bidet direction for both ...places... most definitely is not accurate.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

@ 'Harry_Gatto'

These toilets cannot be installed in many countries because electrical regulations do not allow power outlets in bathrooms or have other similar prohibitions.

Um, NOT true because those countries have a solution for that, it's called a GFI breaker or that safety can even be built into the receptacle as a GFCI receptacle

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Residual-current_device

We have them installed in homes on both sides on the big pond.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

What China said a few months back when people were coming over to grab up the toilet seats were true: Japan has this and rice cookers to be proud of, but not the economy of electronics in general, which is behind China. I think the seats are awesome, but use only the heating function, and of course only in winter. In NA they would not be practical because of central heating, until you're into the bedet function. In any case, they are a wonder.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Forget about these super high tech ones, just get ride of the ones on the ground please.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

The washlet sprays have a self cleaning function.

When you press the spray button, there's a minute or so of delay.

This is the spray cleaning itself.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@smithinjapan

I agree these toilet seats are amazing and great in winter. I do like the bidet function too......very sensible...... but at the same they do cost the nation electricity and therefore not too carbon neutral. At least turn down the heater in the summer!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

One of the best things to come out of Japan. Wanted to instal on home in Sydney but difficult because of rules about water and electricity proximity. And price too, twice that of Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think the high-tech toilet seat appears as a symbol of typical "Japaneseness" or "OMOTENASHI" if you will.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The washlet sprays have a self cleaning function.

Supposedly yes, they do. But if you actually manually clean them (which I do at home, on a regular basis) you'll see that they are filthy! This is probably the reason that women, who do most of the cleaning around the house, refuse to use them outside of their homes.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@Roxanne. When I was about 12 yrs. old, I played an Atari 2600 system (I'm an old guy). Now its all X-Box One or the 360 (for kids you see). No PS4.

Robots? It was an American robot scoping out the Fukushima reactors in its 3/11 aftermath. TV's? Aquos just went belly up. SHARP next maybe.

I got a Toshiba laptop, from Akihabara (waste of money). ipod, iphone (not a waste). Maybe an Apple Watch in the future.

. . .I still drive Nissan though. But if Japanese Air-bags start "exploding" on those vehicles, then I'll have to switch back Ford Explorers.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

unfortunatley toilet seats and rice cookers arent going to reinvigorate the J economy.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

It is very awesome that toilet seat has warm shower and also drier. It seems not much to use toilet papers and can save money for them.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@harry gatto

"Do you make a habit of regularly visiting stores to do your number twos?"

Yes, whilst on my lunchbreak, it's either that or use the horrid squat ones at work.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Yes, whilst on my lunchbreak, it's either that or use the horrid squat ones at work.

"Horrid" describes it perfectly. Since we're on the topic of "How High Tech Japan is" this a a very primitive toilet STILL in existence today.

Hope the upgrade for 2020 summer games.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@jerseyboy: you can't help to bash Japan in every thread? Everyone is able to produce TVs and smartphones today, do you think an economy can be developed only on these devices? A huge "MEH!"

About these Japanese toilets, they are fun but I guess I prefer how we are used in Italy, with normal wc and bidets. I noticed Italy is one of the few countries in the world where people use bidet after they...did their things, indeed I am always surprised by the fact some countries don't have bidets in their bathrooms.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I appreciate good hygiene and the emphasis placed on it by the Japanese. The confusing part I find is when the toilet has a faucet on top of the toilet and there is no hand soap to be found anywhere. Train stations without soap make me shudder at the touch of the hand rails.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The confusing part I find is when the toilet has a faucet on top of the toilet and there is no hand soap to be found anywhere.

Generally when this happens you are supposed to give your hands a cursory rinsing, then leave the bathroom and wash your hands properly with soap.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Clean toilets equipped with various features

Yes. Now if only they could figure out how to install soap machines in the restrooms.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A major reason why these high-tech toilets are popular in Japan is most modern homes in Japan have an electrical outlet (100 V AC) right next to the area in the bathroom where the toilet is installed to accommodate such devices. You don't see those in homes in most of the rest of the world, even in the USA.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@jerseyboy: you can't help to bash Japan in every thread? Everyone is able to produce TVs and smartphones today, do you think an economy can be developed only on these devices? A huge "MEH!"

I think he's bitter about some past failed relationship with a Japanese woman in Japan and that left him with a sour feeling regarding almost anything Japanese. A while back I remember him posting and spouting accolades about his Filipina wife and Filipinas, which makes me wonder if he's patting himself on the back for a "successful" relationship based on global economic disparity, i.e., getting a mail-order bride/wife by flashing that American passport.

Anyway, that's a good point about those self-protruding nozzles in these toilets. They've been around for a while now; you'd think they would have developed a self-cleaning system to prevent the build-up of feces in those things? At least I'd imagine the newer ones would have such a feature. That can be really nasty once you consider what's being blasted directly into your rear end.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I can't believe some people would think washlets are unhygienic, as without them all we have to clean our buttholes after taking a dump is toilet paper, unless you take a shower/bath.

The washlet doesn't miraculously scrub you clean. They simply make it so that when you do use toilet paper it's soggy. Admittedly there are times things can get messy and the washlet is a nice convenience. Otherwise it simply makes it easier for the bacteria to get spread around.

I think he's bitter about some past failed relationship with a Japanese woman in Japan and that left him with a sour feeling regarding almost anything Japanese.

What's the point of attacking a person's post by going after him personally - then going after his wife as well? He may or may not be unfair in his opinions of all things Japanese but on this subject that isn't necessarily the reason for his opinion.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The confusing part I find is when the toilet has a faucet on top of the toilet and there is no hand soap to be found anywhere.

Generally when this happens you are supposed to give your hands a cursory rinsing, then leave the bathroom and wash your hands properly with soap.

Where? Once you've left the toilet facilities where is the soap and water to do this? Japanese people dry their hands on the little square towel they carry--creating a happy breeding ground for bacteria--and carry on. Then they contaminate everything else they touch: a pocket, a phone, a bag handle, handrails et cetera.

When out in public facilities at home or abroad I recommend using disposable sanitizing hand-wipes--and, as much as possible, not touching anything afterwards. But the key is to scrub your hands--as you should with soap when it's provided--paying special attention to the thumbs which often get missed--with the towelette. Then use it to open the door before disposing of it.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Nearly every household in Japan and most public restrooms are equipped with a seat that is plugged into the mains electricity

That statements is misleading. It might be true in a very small, very 'effluent' part of Tokyo, but the opposite is true for "most" of Japan.

Japan truly has the whole range, from no-flush-hole-in-the-ground to 24K state-of-the-art. But one thing is for sure, their public toilets may not always be clean, but they are always safe (at least compared to other countries).

0 ( +1 / -1 )

But the key is to scrub your hands

Why? What on earth are you doing in the toilet that requires such extreme measures?

I give my hands a quick (1-2 seconds) rinse every time. Never had a problem.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

marcelloz

'......a very small, very 'effluent' part of Tokyo'. Love it!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

TrevorPeaceMAY. 16, 2015 - 10:45AM JST I'm importing them to Canada, and I don't feel any financial risk, just the warm and expressive appreciation of Japanese invention. Sit and contemplate, ye naysayers!

Why would you be doing that when they are already available from Toto NA?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

We just remodeled our bathroom and we just installed a seat we bought for $ 599 Toto brand. Sprays back and forth, heat control of the water or seat, drys and deodorizes . Best seat in the house. Didn't think about but I should have installed a flatscreen in front of it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I absolutely love the Japanese washlet, but what amazes me is that a country that can invent such a wonderful high-tech device also has lots of toilets which are just a hole in the ground which you are supposed to squat over. Talk about going from one extreme to the other! Weird ...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Maybe they will add a medical part that take samples and analyze them... "Please see a doctor, we see a problem. We have already sent the analysis ". Now that is high tech and no privacy as with most medical care in Japan. But the seats are healthy but not sure about using them in areas with water shortage problems.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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