Friday, April 18, 2008

Potty Talk

I am home. All went very well, thanks to the compulsive planning of the Mister. We had a wonderful time.

However, i am feeling about as bright as a 15 watt light bulb, as my body doesn't know what the hell is going on, time-wise. Plus i managed to catch a little cold the day before we left.

So today we are going to talk about Japanese toilets.

This is the B534S model. The first time i sat down upon it i screamed because the toilet seat was hot and i was not expecting that.

Here are the controls along the side:
The picture is pretty dark, but you can still see all the buttons. I love the little graphic of the butt. And yes, i tried all the buttons. Butt (heh) i still don't know what the "Stand By" button does. The toilet pictured above is from our hotel room. This one:
is in a public place. Thus the button with the musical note, which turns on and off a fake flushing noise. There is also a volume control for the flushing noise, in case you need more camouflage.

I KNOW! Brilliant! I apologize for the terrible photo, but i was worried about the other bathroom users calling the police because i was flashing photos and giggling.

Here your intrepid reporter from the east is standing over a "traditional" Japanese toilet:

It is flush (heh) with the ground and you crouch over it and hope for the best. That's why it's wet all around the toilet, because most women's best isn't very accurate.
Note that there is no toilet paper. I was prepared for this and so i carried a little pack of tissues in my purse.

In addition, many public toilets have no soap, no hot water and no way to dry your hands. Most women carry little tiny towels around with them for this purpose. (I used my jeans.)

Here is a sign directing you to the toilet:

Note that the only way to tell the difference between the male and the female is that the man has a V neck, and the female has a crew neck (at least i think that's right.) Em ended up using the men's room at least twice.
I will have more to tell you when i am more alert, and now that we have the toilets out of the way, we can move on to monkeys, deer, trains and umbrellas.

It's good to be home.


Anonymous said...

Toilets, a woman after my own heart. I love the idea of camouflage noise for noisy business. And you're home. Yay!!!! I missed you.

flutter said...

Oh I love you.

Mrs. Chili said...


The little bum graphic got me - I laughed the rest of the way through the post...

Anonymous said...

Wish my ass looked that good. DO you suppose the Japanese get tush complexes if theirs are not as cute and curvy as that one?


(Are there typos? I've been watching a movie with a 1960s dinner party, so I started drinking, and now I smell grilled steak, and the sound track of cocktail laughter is freaking me out a little because it strikes a memory chord from when my parents would entertain the wardroom....)

urban-urchin said...

God Bless the Japanese. I love the toliet pics.

A tourist who was visiting France stood confused outside a toliet for close to 15 minutes until she had the courage to ask my friend- please am I am hom-me or fem-me? God bless her.
I would have totally gone into the v neck potty-

Girlplustwo said...

i was just sitting here thinking "where the hell is Meno and when the hell is she getting home?"

and here you are. and i love thinking about all 6' of you taking photos of japanese toilets.

hallelujah, she's home.

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, I can understand that scream. I never use the heated seats in my car. As much as I wish my ass would melt away, the sensation of it doing so is not very welcome.

You, however, are Very Welcome back. Thanks for the laughs.

tt said...

Oh shit! ( no pun intended) I forgot to tell you about the toilets! they didn't have the luxurious ones when we were there...only the 'flush' ones. I almost peed my pants before I figured out what to do! :) Did you notice the men 'going' in the gutters or ditches?? benjo's?

Benjo wa doko desuka?
Ohayoo gozaimasu
Konnichi wa
konban wa
denwa doko

Three years and that's about all i remember..Sad huh?
So glad your back and had a good time. We're all anxious to hear all about it!!

meno said...

deb, i missed you too. And what could be more basic than toilets?

flutter, i love you too. :D

mrs. chili, how could you not laugh at that butt?

big bouquet, no typos. There were very few chubby Japanese that i saw, so maybe they feel good about their butts.

u-u, i understand the confusion of that tourist in France.

jen, here i am, all pottied out. And oh did they stare at me in all my tallness.

de, it felt like someone else's body heat was on the toilet. It was creepy until i knew to expect it.

tt, i think that's pretty good after three years. I horrified my daughter with my pronunciation. I didn't see any men pissing in odd places, but we weren't out very late, so i may have missed it.

fiwa said...

Wow, it seems like you have been gone forever! And you made it home just in time for the freaksnow - good timing.

The toilets in the ground... ah, I wouldn't make it. Nasty toilets make me gag.

Sorry 'bout your cold - hope you kick it quickly.


Stucco said...

Welcome home Meno-gellan. Marco! Poo-low! Heh.

Anonymous said...

Welcome home! I missed you!

Now let me get this straight; they don't use toilet paper or wash their hands? That's disgusting! I thought Japan was a civilized country. Yuck.

I look forward to hearing about the rest of your adventures...

lu said...

Welcome Home!

ETK said...

Yay! You're home! I love the photos and can't wait to hear more. :)

Susanne said...

Nice to have you back.

Keep up the cultural interesting posts, I'm intrigued.

Scott from Oregon said...

When I lived in Japan, Takeshita was prime minister.

It became the euphamism I used for taking a dump.

"Where are you going?"

"To visit the prime minister."

Lynn said...

Welcome back to the land of toilet seat protectors and toilet paper. I'm guessing that this means that the Japanese don't need to study your lesson on 'replacing a toilet paper roll'. Lucky...or unlucky them:~)

QT said...

So far, I am loving this trip report.

Welcome back, sweets. You have been mised.

Marshamlow said...

Welcome home. Love the potty talk. Can't wait for more stories! To live vicariously through you.

Dick said...

Welcome back! I think there are more differences between us and Asian countries than those in Europe. It will be fun to learn from you what other things you found "interesting" over there. And give us photos, please.

Bob said...


welcome home, meno-san.

missed ya'.

Heather said...

glad you and your potty humor are back!

100 Thoughts of Love said...

There is no better topic yu could have posted then toilets....I like the one with the buttons in your hotel room..but I find the public one little disturbing...I can just invision pee running down ones leg rather then hitting the target......enough said !

Irrelephant said...

Welcome home, dear meno! You need to call into the radio show and we can grill you all about things Japanese!

meno said...

fiwa, well, you know, sometimes you gotta go. Plus i am a veteran outdoor pee-er, so i did okay. But, it was pretty icky. I think the point might me that you needn't touch anything.

stucco, oh did i need that t-shirt of yours.

half-past, yes, of course they use tp, it just isn't always provided for you. It's BYOTP, in some places.

lu, thank you! It was great, and so is being home.

etk, so many photos to follow that you will beg for mercy.

susanne, i went through the whole country like that. I notice odd things.

scott, ha ha! i wish i'd know so i could have used that line.

lynn, to be clear, most places had TP, fewer had hot water, fewer had soap, and even fewer had hand towels. We are spoiled in the US.

qt, thank you. Glad you are enjoying the travel tales.

marsha, i thought of you while i was there. And i used your Essential Japanese book too.

dick, i will have to visit Europe to verify your theory.

bob, hope you did okay without me. :)

h.e., what could be more universal than toilets?

irrelephant, well now, that's an idea. Now i'll have to find out what the hell time you are on the air these days.

Cheesy said...

Oh my the thoughts that go thru my bean.... First I LOVE that the Toilet sign shows them spread eagle ... is it a warning that the potty is a straddle station???

Also second, is EVERYONE gay there?? That's a pretty wide stance!

Welcome home gurlie!

heartinsanfrancisco said...

The first time I saw a bidet, in France, at about Em's age, I thought it was a foot bath.

It didn't have music, but Edith Piaf would have been a great accompaniment.

So glad you had a wonderful time, and you're home.

TTQ said...

You didn't take the lid off the back of the toilet??!!! Some of them look like engines for a Porsche, especially in high rise buildings. Truly incredible. I soon learned a childs's fascination with the flushing of a commode over and over. WHOOSH!!!!!!

luckyzmom said...

It's great to have you back. I missed you so.

And the bit about the toilets is fabulous. Just the kinda thing I wanted to know!

Anonymous said...

I've heard about those Japanese toilets and like the idea of a little shower down there, but all those buttons ARE a little intimidating.

sari said...

Ok the toilets are almost as good as the monkeys! I think everyone needs the camouflage noises, that's hysterical.

peevish said...

I'm so glad you're back. I missed you!

I've never been to Japan, but have encountered some pretty scary Italian toilets. Especially at train stations. Yikes!

The restroom signs are a scream. What the hell? Did Em see men in the men's rooms?

H said...

When in Japan, my friend tripped on his way into the toilet of his home-stay family. He put his hand out to catch himself and landed on the toilet control panel. This turned on the booty wash and sprayed water all over the ceiling and in a big fountain back down again, drenching himself and the bathroom. He then couldn't figure out the Japanese to turn it off. Nice.

Diane Mandy said...


Japanese toilets are way better than the pits I encountered in China. I remember a painful moment New Years 2006 when I was all dressed up in a fancy gown and heels in a stylish club in Beijing and had the urge to go.

It was a disaster.

Tink said...

Wait. I'm still trying to figure out the squatting thing.

Tink said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
egan said...

I'm so late to the game, but this is one my favorite posts of yours. Thanks for bringing your trip to Japan home. I didn't get cool pictures like this from my wife. You did well.

crazymumma said...

The crouching is good for the quads.

sink or swim. or some such stuff.

Vulgar Wizard said...

There are some places locally where I crouch/squat to keep from touching icky things with my undercarriage.

Wait, do girls have "undercarriages?"

Okay, my bum then.