You probably thought you would never need to be potty-trained again after moving past your toddler years. While that is true for most people around the world, you have many new things to learn when encountering a Toto Washlet in Japan. This fancy toilet flushes your bodily waste down the drain just like any other toilet, but it differs with its vast array of buttons on its control panel. For most people, their functions can be unclear if you have never used them before.
A standard Washlet will have around seven or eight features. Before being able to use these features, you must first sit down to activate them. The buttons “rear” and “front” perform similar functions but have different purposes. “Rear” is to clean your backside, while “front” is a bidet for ladies. You can adjust the pressure of these features with the plus and minus sign buttons above the word “pressure.”
The Japanese always take convenience into account in everyday life and the “privacy” button is no different. This is used to mask any unpleasant noises that may occur when using the toilet. It will play a flushing sound, a song, or some kind of ambient noise for a short while before shutting off automatically. You can adjust the volume with the plus and minus sign buttons above the word “volume.”
A couple of other features that usually come standard are the “stop” button, the “deodorizer” button, and a heated seat. The “stop” button is pretty self-explanatory as it simply ceases any feature that is already in use. The “deodorizer” will act as a vacuum of sorts by cleaning the foul air around the toilet. Finally, many Washlets will have heated seats to make your experience as pleasant as possible.
In order to get the full Japanese cultural experience, you must use a Toto Washlet at least once during your trip. Please try out some of the buttons to see how such an ordinary action can be transformed into an enjoyable experience.