One of the first thing one notices when visiting Japan is the difference in home sizes and bathing customs.
In general, Japanese homes are smaller than ones in the West, but they are superbly organized and very functional. The bathroom is one of the places where a Westerner notices the biggest differences between homes in Japan and in Europe or the United States.
In this video by Life Where I’m From, you will be taken on a tour of a modern Japanese bathroom. The charming tour guide, Aiko, shows 12 unique features and how they function.
Within one bathroom, there are separate compartments for the sink, the tub, and the toilet. They are separated by doors into little private booths, so can be used by three people at the same time: someone can be using the toilet, while another person is taking a bath, and a third one is brushing their teeth.
2. Sink Wand
The sinks have sprayers that can be latched onto hooks for bathing babies or pets, or for washing up.
In the tub area, there is a stool with its own sprayer, similar to the ones in our showers. A bucket for pouring water is available as you wash. They are used for bathing/washing the entire body.
4. Water Liberal
The floor has special drains for water to flow into, so one doesn’t have to worry about flooding the place.
5. Bathe in Luxury
In Japan, water is shared communally among families, scrubbing up with a sprayer and some soap is usually done before stepping into the tub. The bath is reserved for relaxing and guests are always treated to a bath. Aiko demonstrates how powder is added to the water for a soothing soak.
6. Digital Temperature
The water temperature can be adjusted through a digital dial on the wall. Smart.
7. The Help Button
Like in some Western hotels, there’s an emergency button one can use in case of injuries.
8. Service Button
If you need a towel or a drink, a button marked with a phone icon button is linked directly to the living quarters. How cool is that?
9. Kitchen Remote
Similarly to the temperature control panel that allows the user to adjust the water temperature, there is also one in the kitchen – it allows for the bath to be warmed up remotely.
10. Reuse of Water
Ecology is big in Japan, so there’s a hose that connects the washing machine to the tub. The bath water can then be pumped out and used for laundry.
11. Clothes Dryer
Clothes can be hung on a rod above the tub to dry – there is another dial that turns on a fan for drying clothes in the bathroom.
12. Toilet Quarantine
According to Aiko, toilet odors are prevented from wafting through the rest of the bathroom. There is also a sink on top of the toilet tank, making it convenient to wash your hands.
For a Westerner, many of these things might seem strange, bizarre even. Watch the video to see it in the flesh and find out whether you would be comfortable with using a Japanese bathroom.