Our first encounter of Japan was the toilet in Narita International Airport. To say that I was extremely impressed was an understatement to describe my reaction to Japanese toilet technology. Awe-struck was more like it.
The toilet comes with a soft-cushioned, warmed seat, with motion detection so the soothing sound of water played as soon as I closed the stall door (and stalls, by the way, are much more sealed off than American, gaps at the junctions ones). There were four to five different functions to suit one’s needs, including two directions of bidet.
My first thought was that, because it’s the Narita International airport, I would encounter this sophisticated and advanced toilet technology as a way to wow visitors to Japan. After all, the airport is one of the world’s top airports (ranked 11th in Skytrax’s world’s Top 100 Airports for 2018).
We soon discovered, however, that this type advanced super-toilet is widely available at most public places. The train station, the mall, the hotel, and even small restaurants had versions!
On the contrary, due to the costs, most homes or apartments have the basic toilet that we are accustomed to in the US, including our son’s apartment in Tokyo.
Tokyo may be the only city where we preferred to use a public restroom over a home toilet. No doubt our son wondered why we were so voluntary and eager to take his dog for walks for him!