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Sabineko comments

Posted in: Japanese-style toilets can be challenge for visitors See in context

I had my "eastern potty training" at the remote airfield that passes for Venice Airport for the budget airlines. Got off the plane and had not even considered that they might have squat loos in Italy. If I'd known, I'd have gone for my sit down on the facility on the plane before landing, but I thought I'd wait for the less cramped confines of an airport convenience.

Still, it proved good training for Japan. To my relief (pun intended), in my several visits to Japan, even staying in very old ryokan, I've only ever had to resort to a squat on one occasion - at a JR station when 'caught short'.

Lack of paper in some Japanese public loos is, at first sight, a problem, but my wife clued me in - That's what the free hand outs of packets of tissues with advertising on them all over Japan are for. Keep one with you at all times and gratefully accept any dished out at railway ticket halls! Some station loos don't provide paper but (enterprising, as ever) there's a vending machine for tissues outside, in case you've exhausted your free supply.

Lack of soap is endemic across the world. Many places that purport to have soap (liquid types in dispensers) are frequently not filled and bars of soap are to be avoided like the plague. Small dispensers of alcohol hand disinfectant or 'wet wipes' are my wife's hand bag answer.

She even has a 'travel size' tiny bottle of toilet freshener for our holidays! A single drop of the miracle liquid, dropped into the loo after a flush, eliminates incriminating odours. She doesn't want to offend the senses of even the hotel cleaners.

Not sure if that's typical behaviour for Japanese women, as I've only been married to the one, but the fact that the product exists in Japan means others must buy it... It's not available in the UK, saying something about British sensibilities, so she stocks up when we go home.

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