How to.. use Japanese toilets and where; heated seats and cleansing jets
Japanese toilets are fun!
And more importantly, they are generally very clean. Why the fun first? I will explain in a moment.
In this article you can read about:
how and especially where to use toilets on the road
how to enjoy these high-tech Japanese toilets, every step of the way
getting water for daily needs like washing and drinking
What?! No bathroom in my camper..
I should first repeat that a Japanese rental camper does not usually have a bathroom, or toilet. And to directly solve this problem, that good, clean, free, public toilets are about everywhere. (how Japanese camping cars are different? Look at the end of this article)
Last week on a hike in the woods near Mt. Oyama for instance we came across a small cubicle in the middle of nowhere, in the ‘portable Bob-the Builder style’ but very useful. And it was even on the map! But most toilets are easier to spot. For example in nearly all convenience stores like 7/11 which right next to the road and have free parking. And these are open at all times and found even in small villages.
Clean, public toilets are found:
- in nearly all parks, often small ones too
- in all bus and train stations. In smaller stations, they are usually at the platform-area, after the ticket gates. It is perfectly normal to ask the attendant at the checking window ‘Sumimasen, toilet?’ You will be waved through and can exit there later. No ticket required. These simple words will work, especially combined with ‘an urgent facial expression!’
- at all parking areas along highways and tollways
- at tourist information centers
- at the entrance of local tourist attractions
- and as mentioned, in nearly all convenience stores
So, what to do at night?!
One way is to always park for the night near a public toilet of the aforementioned type. Which is quite possible to do without much of a headache all over Japan. Or at least at most times. But there will be nights that you decide The Perfect Spot has other criteria that overrule something as profane as the lack of toilet. For example “being parked on a deserted lake shore at such an angle that at precisely 5.32am the first rays of sun will hit both your lake-view-window and the summit of Fuji-san simultaneously.”
So there is no toilet at night. From experience and especially talking with other people I share some ‘work-arounds.’ Be warned that these can call on your creativity. And by no means I ask you to follow any of these ideas. And unfortunately, some ideas work better for males than females.
Here is a short-list and I know this is asking for comments;
- keep an empty bottle handy
- go into the woods. Which should be as it says; ‘into the woods’ not on the parking area. And when dropping anything else but liquids; all should be collected in a plastic bag and put with the garbage. Which is 100% normal for Japanese dog-walkers. Or bury it all, at least 50cm deep.
- get hold of a Gotta Go Briefcase
Most important of all: keep parkings clean. For you, for those who come after you and especially for those who live in the area. Or for all Japanese for that matter; a great benefit for us camper lovers is that we are allowed to overnight almost anywhere. If we make a mess, we could lose that benefit. As I understand happened in several European countries already.
Paper and luxuries
In almost all cases there will be toilet paper provided and generally also hand soap. The real thrill are the luxury toilets, which come with bidet-function, heated seats and hide-your-noise-button! These are surprisingly common and can often be enjoyed at quiet countryside parkings too. (details on that later).
Bringing water to wash and drink
Where to fill up your water tanks on the road? Also for this public toilets facilities are suitable. Washing obviously, drinking water mostly. What to do with the ‘mostly?’ Just stick to the rule that remote taps might be connected to another source and might not be potable. Be safe, fill up at a less remote spot. Actually they always have a sign warning you, mostly in English too. Or be even saver and buy bottled water, it is inexpensive.
Read our article about drinking Japanese tap water or not, it has all the full details.
Now the fun-part; high-tech toilets!
(under construction, sorry! Please enjoy finding out by yourself 😉 or try this Wiki-page about it )
Create your own unique trip! Go Camper Japan!
More practical information for your trip:
How.. a Japanese camping car is different from other countries
all information on finding a parking for a good night’s sleep in how to.. overnight.
cooking and shopping on the road in how to.. wine and dine in your camper trip
finding your way by GPS in how to.. navigate Japanese roads
and much, much more in how to.. on the Road in Japan, and how to.. before your trip