In any country you may travel to there are basic things to know that can be truly helpful in facilitating your basic daily functionality in a society which may be somewhat unique to your prior experiences. Japan is certainly no exception in this way. There are many basic things which are helpful to know prior to arriving in Japan and you are hopefully going to be more informed and prepared by reading this article. Don’t be too concerned if there is too much to keep track of right away, everyone is very courteous and polite and will most likely help you anywhere you may go in the country.
Let’s take a look at some of the basic things you will likely want to know beforehand.
In your hotel and possibly even in a fast food restaurant or convenience store you will likely be treated to an electronic Japanese bidet. Japan is wise to focus the majority of its technological advances and inventions on actually improving people’s everyday lives rather than creating more issues for them to deal with. The electronic bidet is certainly one of these advances. You will likely be able to choose from a warm stream of water to wash your more delicate areas after using the facilities. It will also likely give you the option to vary the temperature and also to alter the angle and targeted location of the stream of water. The intensity of the stream can also usually be regulated and sometimes even the temperature of the seat itself may be controllable. Have good clean fun with it and don’t be shy. It’s something that should be the norm all over the world already. As a last resort, toilet paper is often also available.
You may be slightly shocked or amazed the first time you see a more traditional Japanese style toilet. The contrast between these and the western style toilets with electronic bidets is as contrasted as many aspects of Japan often are. If you are wearing a kimono and feeling more traditional, then perhaps a ceramic hole in the floor is appropriate for the mood…then again, most likely not. Basically it is a ceramic rectangle with a hole in the bottom and a curved end for boys to face toward while using the facilities. Many people actually say that it is a much healthier and also more efficient method than western style. These people will likely still secretly opt for an electronic bidet when available.
Paper towels and sometimes even toilet paper may occasionally not be provided in some public restrooms, so be prepared. Most Japanese people tend to carry a handkerchief or small towel for drying their hands and also a small package of tissues for situations in which paper may not be provided in a toilet. There is usually a vending machine for emergency situations in such restrooms, but it’s best to just carry a small pack of tissues and your own nice handkerchief or similar with you.
Hopefully this has prepared you for some of the most important basics you need to know to best ensure a pleasant stay in Japan.