The multifunctional Japanese toilets are very popular (Photo by PIXTA)

“I’d like to buy one and take it home”: The charm of Japanese toilets

Discovering high-functioning toilets when visiting Japan

When foreign travelers are asked what impresses them about Japan, many people speak of the toilets.

Discovering high-functioning toilets when visiting Japan

When foreign travelers are asked what impresses them about Japan, many people speak of the toilets. In cold winter you never have to sit on a chilly toilet seat because the seat has a built-in heater, and toilets with a cleaning device mean you can wash your rear with warm water, and dry it with warm air. Once you have used such a toilet, you can’t be parted with it. I hear that many people would like to buy one to take back home.

For those living in Japan, high-functioning toilets are commonplace, but people who see them for the first time seem to be impressed. In Japan even now there is continuing competition to develop new toilets, and more and more toilets with even more amazing features are becoming available.

Toilets with lids that automatically open and close

Two well-known toilet manufacturers in Japan are TOTO and LIXIL. Many people may remember LIXIL under the former company name INAX. Because they are such major manufacturers, all toilets with cleaning devices are completely equipped with all the essential features.

When it comes to the top models, they make some literally amazing movements. For example, the lid of TOTO’s “NEOREST” opens as you approach it and closes when you leave. Not only that, but as you sit down, a deodorizing function is automatically activated. Also, when you rise from the toilet, it automatically flushes, and determining the amount required from the time taken sitting, an appropriate quantity of water is released.

LIXIL also has products with similar functions. Furthermore, LIXIL were selling a product called “REGIO”, which played music when the lid was opened.

Returning to Toto, they cooperated with the homebuilding company Daiwa House Industry to develop a fascinating toilet which has a health care function. Somehow it measures the glucose content in urine, along with the user’s blood pressure, body weight, urine temperature (deep body temperature), and calculates their BMI. Moreover, the data obtained can be transferred via LAN to a PC and recorded by health management software.

Panasonic’s smartphone-linked toilet

Panasonic is famous for home appliances and electronic devices, but in Japan it also deals with highly sophisticated toilets. Among them, the top model “Alauno L150” is furnished with a variety of features that can be coordinated via Wi-Fi with your smartphone.

If you install the app for Alauno on your smartphone, you can store such settings as the power of the water for cleaning, and the position of the nozzle, so that you can operate these again with one touch of a button. The water that is flushed is automatically recorded on a calendar, which must be useful for health management.

Also, if the Alauno L150 is installed in another family member’s home, the app can be used to confirm that they are using the toilet. If there is no sign of your relative using the toilet, you can conclude there may have been an accident such as falling down due to illness, and you can react quickly and appropriately. For those with elderly parents, this may well be a feature that you would definitely want to use.

Nobuhiko Sato