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Japanese Bathroom Etiquette - The Toilet

If you are planning on taking that special trip to Japan, do bear in mind as you make all the neccessary packing and arrangments, that unlike the West the toilet and bathtub belong to separate rooms in Japanese homes, each has its own set of rules for proper behavior as well as usage.

Toilet Etiquette:
There are two types of toilets in Japan, the traditional Japanese-style and the modern Western-style, although most private homes now have the Western-style toilets, there is a chance that you would still find yourself in a home that doesn't, so youíll probably find it very helpful to try to become familiar with one before you suddenly find yourself being forced to get very intimate with it.
In addition, many public bathrooms still have the traditional Japanese squat-toilet, so you may have no other choice than to take the plunge and try using one. Fear not, for Japanese-style toilets are not as scary as they look or even sound.

Squat toilets look a little bit like urinals lying down on the ground but instead of sitting on the bowl, you have to straddle the toilet, facing the hood with a hole on one end, but still squating to do your business.
Thatís it; thatís all there is to it. If anything, itís good for building up leg muscles, just only be careful not to dribble on your clothes; so itís best to first make sure that your pants are pulled down all the way to your ankles.

Other Things to Remember:
1. In Japanese homes special toilet slippers, are provided exclusively for use in the bathroom, be sure to slip them on when entering the bathroom and also leave them at the door for the next personís use.

2. When using a public restroom, be sure to carry a small packet of tissue paper with you, as it is often not provided for you in public toilets. For this reason, it is also not uncommon to see cute girls handing out free tissues, complete with company advertisements imprinted on them, while on street corners or at train stations.

Even if you find yourself in a place that has both the Western and traditional Japanese styles, I would still recommend that you try using the Japanese squat style, at least just once, if only for the experience.

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