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How to Use Japanese Toilets: From Using the Bidet Toilet Seats to Masking Unpleasant Sounds

Japanese bidet toilet seats are full of wonderful features and you can find them in restrooms throughout the country. The only drawback they have is their great number of buttons which can intimidate even the most curious of visitors. To help you deal with this dilemma, in this article you’ll find information about the ever-evolving toilet technologies in Japan and how to properly use Japanese bidet toilet seats.

Have You Ever Used a Bidet Toilet Seat?

Japanese bidet toilet seats provide you with a nice and warm place to sit while you do your business in the restroom, and then when you’re done, a well-aimed nozzle washes your bottom clean with a jet stream of water. The demand for the product in Japan is high, and you can find them in around 77.5% of homes, according to a survey conducted in March 2015. The control for the many functions the electronic bidet offers is installed on the restroom wall or it’s attached to the device. The following are some of the buttons you will find.

Bidet (ビデ): Used mainly by women to clean their private parts after peeing.
Bottom (おしり): As the name suggests, this button is used to clean your bottom, regardless of your gender. The water pressure is stronger than the bidet button.
Gentle (やわらか): Same function as the bottom button, but with lower water pressure.
Water pressure (水勢): This button is used to control the pressure of the water jet.
Dry (乾燥): Press this button to blow hot air and dry your derriere area.
Stop (止): Stop the cleansing process.

Otohime Function: No One Will Overhear Your Private Moment

Otohime means “princess sound” in Japanese and it’s a function that you find in a great number of restrooms in Japan. What otohime does is basically play sounds that mask any undesired noise that the user might make while using the toilet. The function was conceived to offer a solution to self-conscious female users who don’t want other people overhearing their alone time in the restroom. Essentially, all you have to do to turn it on is to the press ON button or pass your hand over the sensor. Lately, more and more models start playing automatically as soon as you sit.

How to Flush Different Types of Toilets

When you arrive in Japan, you’ll soon realize that different toilets have different flushing methods. In order to help you deal with the differences, here are some of the most common flushing methods you will find.
* Remember: In Japan, only flush toilet paper down the toilet. Please dispose of any other trash or waste in its appropriate bin.

Dual Buttons

Press one of the buttons to flush (小 is for a small flush and 大 for a large flush).


Pass your hand over the sensor to flush.


Press down the lever to flush.

Dual Handle

Turn the handle towards the wall to flush your number one or towards you for number two. * It might be the other way around in some cases.

How to Use the Toilet Seat Cleaner

You might find a toilet seat cleaner installed next to the toilet bowl depending on the restroom. This disinfectant dispenser is quite convenient and easy to use. Here is a simple procedure to show you how to best use it.

1. Grab a proper amount of toilet paper.
2. Place the toilet paper under the dispenser’s nozzle and push the button once.
3. Clean the seat.

Flush the toilet paper you used to clean the seat down the toilet. Make sure to use the disinfectant if you have any hygiene concerns.

An Automatic Sanitary Bin?!

This is something that you won’t see often, but some female restrooms are equipped with sanitary bins that open and close automatically. Regular sanitary bins usually have a lid that needs to be opened by hand. Having one that opens and closes by itself not only is more hygienic it also relieves you from having to look at the waste inside. Designed with women’s needs in mind, the automatic bin is highly regarded among female users. Paying attention to such level of details is something that Japan does really well, don’t you think?

Did any of the toilets or features intrigue you? You were probably surprised to learn how advanced some toilets in Japan can be. Hopefully, this article was able to teach you about some of those buttons you’ve seen before and have been meaning to try but never had the courage to. Use this article to fully enjoy your toilet experience in Japan!

*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.

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