16 January, 2018

Toilet scenes

I discovered this helpful sign in one of  the cubicles
at our snow camp. The toilet seat was heated (which made
you linger when faced with sub-zero temperatures outside).
However, I didn't linger long enough to do origami with
the end of the toilet paper.
As an aside, it is very common to find the end folded neatly
with the corners simply tucked under, generally, I think,
a sign that no one has used it since the cubicle was cleaned.
The Japanese toilet has a bit of an international reputation as being amazing. It's not an unfounded rumour. One facility at an expressway roadside stop that we visited last year had an amazing atmosphere: almost like a living room. There was subtle lighting, indoor plants, and TVs you could sit and watch. And that was even before you got into the cubicle. In the cubicle were lots of hooks and shelves for belongings as well as a sign telling you not to forget to take your belongings with you when you left. The cubicles were a complete room, with a roof and everything...or maybe that was another rest stop. I can't quite remember and alas, I didn't take photos.
Not all toilets in this land are amazing, some are dirty, some are traditional Asian squatty potties. We've seen drop-toilets, when we've been out camping. At some campsites we've been dodging the spiders or frogs. They are generally not as prudish about privacy, especially in public parks. In our second apartment in Sapporo we overlooked a park and could see straight into the men's loo from our verandah, there was no door. Thankfully we were a couple of floors up, but it wasn't what you'd see in Australia.

But for all those, you also see some pretty flash toilets in the city. Especially in hotels and shopping centres. But sometimes you are surprised at what they've decided to include, and that's when I want to stop and take a photo.

One of the big treats here in winter is heated toilet seats. We're lucky to have two of them in our own house. It really helps when the room is below 10 degrees for months on end.
But I have collected some photos and I'm happy to share them with you today.
This is our downstairs toilet and all its functions. I have occasionally used these, but mostly not. Mostly we're just happy that it heats. Here's a blog post with English explanations of how to use this.

This type of provision is becoming more common.

I discovered this in a toilet cubicle under a downtown shopping centre at New Years. I was surprised at its beauty because it was just off an underground car park. It had fancy coat hooks that swivelled.

And some interesting English!

This I found today at our local train station. So many hooks. Three double-hooks on this wall and you can just see on the left-hand wall an umbrella hook.

Outside the above cubicle in the hand-washing section were two basins, each with umbrella hooks and a shelf under the mirror (not pictured). 

Next to that was two "private" cubicles where you could fix your make-up/hair or whatever. They both had three shelves and an umbrella hook (with signs) too. Whoever fixed this bathroom up liked their umbrella hooks!

It is not uncommon in some places to find toilet slippers (at the gym, an hot springs, in hotels, even churches and homes). The idea is again, separation of the dirty and "clean", like changing your shoes at the front door. This was the hot springs that we used at our October camp for showers (there were none at the campsite). They've thoughtfully provided small slippers for children, though why they had blue slippers in the girl's loo I'm not sure.

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