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Blog In Travel Addicts

The high-tech Japanese toilets

blog:21151:5::0
By Igor I. Solar
Posted Apr 16, 2013 in Travel
One item that draws the attention of foreigners visiting Japan is the variety of toilets. In one extreme, there are the traditional toilets that compel the user to adopt a relatively uncomfortable squat position, which often requires the posting of explanatory signs instructing foreigners on the correct way to use them. These toilets are usually found in traditional Japanese guesthouses (Ryokan), in public places and small towns.
Diagrammatic instructions on how to properly use the traditional Japanese squat toilet.
Diagrammatic instructions on how to properly use the traditional Japanese squat toilet.
On the other hand, there are the highly sophisticated toilets with many features designed to give the user maximum comfort, hygiene and privacy. They are commonly found in hotels, some public facilities, and in approximately 60 percent of households.
These high-tech toilets have a seat warmer which maintains a constant temperature to provide a pleasant feeling to the user. The device has sensors that automatically open the cover, close it, and flush the toilet according to the sequence of use. They have a control panel for temperature control, and the operation of a deodorizer function, bidet with varying water pressure, and finally, the activation and operation of an exhaust, air freshener system.
High-tech Japanese toilet in its resting position.
High-tech Japanese toilet in its resting position.
Control panel of the high-tech Japanese toilet. This model has buttons for eight user-operated funti...
Control panel of the high-tech Japanese toilet. This model has buttons for eight user-operated funtions. Additional features are automatic.
Normally, while in use, the device runs a steady stream of water that produces a sound that hides or disguises sounds generated by the user’s physiological functions. This is optional, and can be replaced by ambient music. It is said that these alternative sounds are designed to preserve privacy and hide the propagation of natural noises that are particularly embarrassing for the overly modest Japanese women.
Wireless 38-button control panel for a Japanese toilet. Normally  most buttons are behind the lid  s...
Wireless 38-button control panel for a Japanese toilet. Normally, most buttons are behind the lid, shown here in its open position, so for normal operation the user has to choose only among 18 different buttons.
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More elaborate versions of these toilets incorporate USB ports,card readers and video monitor to listen to one's own music or view photographs or other digital documents.

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