A wry view of life for the world-weary

Toilet Of The Week (8)


I’ve never been but I’m told that going to the toilet can be a disconcerting experience in the land of the Rising Sun. The problem is that their carseys are fairly hi-tech jobbies mixing features you would normally associate with a bidet, for example, with those of a bog-standard bog. Press the wrong button and instead of flushing your deposit down the drain you could find water and hot air being blown up your nether regions.

The ingénue tourist’s difficulties are compounded by the fact that the pictograms used to illustrate each of the functions are not consistent across all toilet manufacturers. But that is about to change as the Japanese prepare for an influx of foreigners for the 2019 Rugby World Cup and the 2020 Olympics.

All nine manufacturers, I read this week, have agreed to standardise the pictograms on the buttons. There will be eight in all – flushing (big and small), opening and closing the lid, activating the back and front cleansing and drying functions and triggering the on and off switches.

Progress of sorts but the Orient will lose some of its mystery, I feel.


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