An American tourist had no hesitation stepping into public restrooms in Japan because she knew they were exceptionally clean.
Before visiting Japan, Monica Humphries would cringe and shy away if she felt the toilet seat was warm, as it was a sign that someone had just used it before her. However, Japanese toilets are equipped with modern heating devices, so the American tourist could comfortably use them without any worries.
The built-in bidet sprayer attached to the toilet bowl also left a strong impression on her. Whether it was a luxurious hotel restroom or an ordinary bar restroom, they all had bidet sprayers. Monica wondered why such a useful feature wasn’t available everywhere in the world. Upon arriving in Tokyo, the first thing she searched for wasn’t a good restaurant or bus ticket information, but the price of this handy bidet sprayer. Monica wanted to purchase one to install in her home restroom because they weren’t common in the United States.
In the restrooms of luxurious hotels, Monica also noticed various amenities such as white noise machines (which produce sounds with multiple frequencies at the same intensity, designed to reduce stress and promote deeper sleep and concentration), air purifiers, and night lights.
Bill Strang, the Chief Business and E-commerce Strategy Officer of a Japanese company in the United States, explained that the Japanese prioritize cleanliness and bathing. Their restrooms reflect this value.
In New York and Denver, some public restrooms can be quite messy. Bar and restaurant restrooms often have trash on the floor, inappropriate graffiti on the walls, and unpleasant odors. In Japan, at subway stations, Monica hardly saw any dirty restrooms.
Apart from being used for “relief,” the Japanese have also turned restrooms into a place for relaxation. Monica noticed that many Japanese houses and apartments have at least two restrooms. The first one has a bidet sprayer and a toilet, entirely separate from the second restroom used for bathing, equipped with a shower and bathtub. Even in small living spaces, the Japanese still prioritize the care of their bathroom.
In Tokyo, Monica was delighted to find bathtubs with control buttons that allowed her to precisely set the water temperature. “I could adjust the timing for filling the tub as I pleased” she said. This was completely different from her experience in the United States, where she didn’t have heated toilet seats like in Japan and had to manually adjust the faucet for hot and cold water.
“So, I still think about the bathrooms of this country many months after my trip,” Monica said.