Japan has the most advanced toilets in the world but foreigners are often confused by the overwhelming myriad of buttons. Here is a quick guide to the main functions of the latest Japanese toilets.
Bidet Spray/Robot Arm Arse Wipe
These two buttons give the toilet user the option of either a gentle bidet spray or a robot arm arse wipe. Many foreigners visiting Japan are surprised to learn that most toilets have a built-in robot arm arse wipe function. Users say it feels a little awkward and invasive at first but once you’ve united robot with crack you’ll never go back.
This button allows the toilet user to withdraw cash while making their own waste deposit. You simply swipe your cash card over the knob and select the amount you wish to take out. Currently, only the major Japanese banks and Japan Post offers cash withdrawal services directly from public toilets.
The discharge of any sound while one is in a bathroom cubicle is considered very poor form in Japan. If you feel the need to emit sound during your visit press this button and the toilet will play music while you do your business and also give you polite words of encouragement to help you through the process.
If you have a few spare minutes after you’ve relieved yourself press this button and receive a free health check. The toilet will examine your excrete and you can choose to print out a summary of your health assessment or have it faxed to your fax machine.
Fancy going to the theatre or attending a baseball game? Press this button to purchase tickets to an event or sports tournament.
It is always wise to err on the side of caution when pressing buttons you don’t fully understand. There have been many incidents of foreigners who have entered public toilets and walked out with a family pass to a 4-hour long Kabuki play. And one more word of advice – if you’re brave enough to attempt a traditional Japanese squat toilet be aware of the hideous side-effects.