How to use a Japanese Toilet

All you need to know before you go!

There are two different types of toilets you’ll run into in Japan: the Squat toilet and the high-tech Western toilet.

The squat toilets aren’t very common in Tokyo but outside of Tokyo you may run into a few, usually they have a westerner toilet option if you’re in a public restroom, you’ll have to keep an eye out for it.

Mastering the controls

Here are a few common examples we came across while in Tokyo.

From this image you’ll see the following options:

Flush and Light Flush – This toilet has full and half flush options. Don’t be surprised if toilets automatically flush when you sit down or stand up.

Stop – Finishes the bidet options.

Rear – Bottom spray!

Front – Ladies front spray!

Privacy – don’t be fooled by the musical notes. This button will usually make loud flushing noises to mask any bottom noises you need to do.

Pressure up and down – adjusts the pressure on the bidet for both front and back. For your first time you may want to start low.

Volume – Adjusts the volume of the gurgling flushing sounds.

Wand Sanitizing – This clever option cleans the toilet bowl and sometimes cleans the toilet seat.

Here is another common style and this one came with a ‘How to use’ guide!

The options are laid out differently, but the options are all labelled the same - apart from the Deodorizer and the description for this says “Absorbs odor with increased suction power” … Sounds intense to me! I think this creates a vacuum flushing effect rather than a spray air freshener.

This toilet doesn’t have the Flush option on the handle. You may have to look for a separate button or even leaver on the cistern. This could also be an automatic flusher only!

Now if you get stuck on a toilet and the Stop button isn’t working (THIS MAY HAVE HAPPENED TO ONE OF US) and the spray is going and going; try hitting this button or finding the toilets reset button and hiking it out of there!

Another tool you’ll find is this seat cleaner. Grab some toilet paper, spritz the paper and wipe down.

Yes, most toilets have toilet paper! But I always keep tissues handy whenever I travel.

With all of this said and done – We LOVE Japanese toilets! They have these systems for sale at stores like Bic Camera and boy were we tempted! Once you get over the initial shock you’ll realise why these toilets are everywhere. They are AMAZING!

Here is a hilarious youtube video on how to use a Squat Toilet.