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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Public Restrooms in Japan

This may seem like an odd topic but if you ever go to Japan you'll understand the greatness of public restrooms. For those of you who have been to Japan you probably know what I'm going to talk about. Japan is a country of rules, manners, and privacy (keeping to yourself). In this post we're going to talk about the privacy aspect of Japan through restrooms!

Now, not all public restrooms in Japan are great. If you just pick any random restroom you may come across things like traditional Japanese squat toilets, no toilet paper in the stalls, or no soap and towel to wash and dry your hands. Some Japanese restrooms expect people to have those things on them, such as tissues people on the streets are handing out, hand sanitizer, and a hand towel. It might sound crazy but Japan makes it very convenient for people to have these items in their bags.

But I'm not talking about random restrooms that may have these issues. I'm talking about restrooms in big places such as malls and theme parks that will definitely supply what you need in a restroom, but most importantly restrooms that value privacy.

I live in America where there no such thing as privacy in restrooms. If I feel the urge to use the restroom I will wait until I get home because public restrooms are horrible here. Public restrooms here are dirty, unkempt, and very "public." What I mean by public is exactly that; everyone knows your business! Not only can people hear you use the restroom but they can see you too! I can't tell you how many times I've tried to dodge people's glances in the cracks of the stalls while I was sitting on the toilet.
Top and bottom of restroom stall door. No cracks! Yay!
In Japan, you will not have these problems. They make sure you have your privacy. The stalls have no cracks for people to peek through. I'm talking about complete privacy from top to bottom and all sides. You can do your business in peace. Potty shy? You won't have to worry about that either. Many public restrooms in populated places have panels on the wall that let you have even more privacy. While you do your business you can press the button on the control panel and the sound of water will mask any sounds you may be making. It sounds a bit weird but it actually very comforting to know you can't be heard and vice versa. At the Narita airport I went into a restroom that played music instead of water. That same restroom also had a feature for smell. This feature is not as common as the sound one, but it's still a nice one to have as an option. The smell it emitted was like an air freshener. With all of these features you should have no problems using the public restrooms in Japan. 
Sensor on the wall of the stall for the sound.
Thank you for reading! I hope this was an interesting topic for some of you. I love Japanese restrooms. Explore my other posts for more Japanese culture and follow me on social media for other Japan related content.

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