Do you know what the ultimate restaurant status symbol is? An $11,000.00 luxury Japanese toilet that will give you an experience of a lifetime!
Have you ever seen a toilet with a control panel, a password, and a user’s guide? A few years back, as a tour manager, I escorted a group of seniors to Japan. In the past, I had traveled there by cruise ship. This time it was different. I had a group of seniors that I was responsible for.
Hours of sitting on a plane and in airports, all I wanted to do was get my group settled into their rooms, and me in mine. A comfortable bed was waiting for me, but before that, I had to meet my group for a welcome dinner.
Oh crap! I thought. What is this? Where’s the Charmin?
Wanting to take a quick shower and change my clothes, I rushed into the bathroom, clothes flying everywhere, and sat down on the john. I stopped short of what I saw beside me: a control panel for the toilet, all written in Japanese.
This was my first experience with the Japanese toilet. As I sat there panicking, I did not think about the engineering that made this modern contraption. There were several buttons to choose from, but which one was I supposed to push to flush it?
By this time, I was so intrigued by this space-age toilet that I forgot about my seniors. There were just too many buttons to push, and I still hadn’t found the flush button. Thanks to this gadget that had more programming than my TV, I knew I was in trouble. My eyes darted back and forth, and finally, I decided to go with the only square button. This had to be it. With some measure of anxiety, I pressed it.
OH CRAP! No pun intended. Now, what do I do? Much to my horror, a bright light came on. I jumped up and grabbed my glasses, and there it was the only visible word in English: EMERGENCY!
Panic set in it must be connected to the front desk. I jumped up in my birthday suit and rushed to the phone and dialed the front desk. Greeted with the soothing tones of elevator music, but no one picked up. I could imagine the newspaper headline, “American Tour Manager Naked in 5-star Tokyo Hotel.” Pictures at five. Then I heard banging at the door.
“Mrs. Raney, are you ok?”
Out of curiosity, I had to find out what the last two buttons did. Plus, I still hadn’t discovered how to flush the darned thing. As it turns out, a flush is not just a flush in Japan. Oh no, you choose a full flush or a half flush.
The Guinness Book of Records states that the TOTO with Washlet is the most sophisticated and expensive toilet in the world. For a few thousand dollars more, you can add diamonds and gold.
Basically, for your child’s inheritance, you can get an on-demand spa for your hiney.
This toilet is designed for “hospitality,” It opens the lid when you walk up, warms up the seat, deodorizes any smelly transactions, auto flushes, and even closes the lid after you leave. Of course, it’s got a bidet and an air dryer, so you don’t even bother with toilet paper. All you have to do is what comes naturally. However, think about what you get:
• Ladies no more falling in the toilet. A seat that senses what you are going to do: stand in front of it, and the seat will go up, back up to it, and the seat will go down.
• A thermostat that controls the temperature of the seat. No more cold seats.
• A cleaning wand for a warm posterior wash
• For the ladies built-in Bidet. Push the appropriate button while setting, and a wand appears and shoots out a stream of water.
• Push another button, and you rinse just like your car in a carwash.
• Adjustable water temperature
• Air deodorizer
• Adjustable water pressure
• Sound princess- a little black box that plays music to cover up the sounds of bodily functions. I understand that many Japanese women are embarrassed at the thought of being heard using the bathrooms. In years past, it was a continuous flushing sound today; you can listen to Mozart as you go.
• Japanese also have slippers to wear when you go into the bathroom.
• Massage cleaning the pulsing spray with scented water.
• Soapy spray
• Rear cleansing
• Front Cleansing
• Turbo wash – a high powered wash intended to push water into the rectum (Oh! You’ve got be kidding me!)
• Night light so you do not have to turn on the bright lights.
• Air dry acts like a hairdryer for your behind.
• Hot days air conditioning.
• UV light bulb that further knocks out those tiny waste particles, keeping you, your toilet, and your tush clean and germ-free.
• Internet connection for your toilet.
Japanese manufactures are experimenting with toilets that can run medical tests. Such toilets are internet-connected to deliver results to you or your doctor.
In Japan, baths like are spas are used for health and relaxation. So, it is essential to clean yourself before entering the tub. Here’s some good-to-know info about Japanese bathing customs:
• You aren’t supposed to wash your body in the bathtub.
• There is a shower hose in the”wet area” outside the bath so you can clean yourself off and bathe in clean water.
• You have a control panel that precisely controls the temperature and fills the bath. You can even set this on a timer so that the tub is ready for you at a specific time every day.
• The toilet is not in the same room as the bath.
• Want a glass of wine while relaxing? Use the call button.
Always remember the bathtubs are made for the locals, not Americans, so if you carry extra weight, always make sure that the hotel you are staying in has a tub and/or an American shower.
TIP: If you carry excess weight, tall, or have other special needs, always make sure you are booking the right cruise, hotel tour, etc. DO NOT ASSUME! Please learn the customs, culture, taboos, what medicines you can take into the country. Or you may be fined or worst yet jailed.
With reemerging destinations, this is the time to plan a holiday of a lifetime.
If you want to experience the unusual, you need to know what there is and plan for it. This is what I do! I help you prepare for a vacation that will bring you memories of a lifetime and make you the envy of your neighbors.
Are you a savvy traveler or a tourist?
Sara Susanne Raney
Expert in Travel Advice & Consulting
Travel Designer for Tripadvisor
[Click HERE to download reco from Tripadvisor; only available in the App Store for iPhone.]