There are lots of exciting activities to do on your travels to Japan. However, if you were to ask friends who have returned from Japan about their experiences, they will almost always mention the efficiency and comfort of Toto toilets. Why? Because these Japanese commodes are unique. Aside from promoting hygiene, they mask the embarrassing toilet noises with the music of chirping birds. You may be wondering why toilets are named Toto. Here’s everything you need to know.

What are the Toto toilets?

Toto, Ltd. is Japan’s manufacturer of bidet toilets. More commonly called “Washlets,” these toilets are known for their automatic sprays, seat warming, and deodorisation. Since its introduction in 1980, the Guinness Book of World Records recognised the “Washlet Zoe” as the “most sophisticated in the world.” Since then, Toto has introduced more advanced functions.

As of March 2018, around 80% of households in Japan have high-tech toilets. That is an average of 113 per 100 homes. The Japanese are very proud of their Toto toilets. The Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers recognises the Toto toilet as part of their mechanical engineering heritage. There is even a Toto Museum showcasing the evolution of the Toto toilet.

Is there any reason behind why the Japanese take pride in their toilets?

Why do Japanese love high-tech toilets? 

There are various explanations as to why the Japanese are proud of their toilets. Shihohoko Takahashi, a professor at Kanagawa University, explains that Toto toilets address the country’s “shame culture,” wherein Japanese people cannot say the word “toilet.” Since the Toto toilets deodorised the smells and quieted the sounds, the bathroom is no longer a taboo subject.

In another theory, the Kawaya-no-kami myth explains that the Japanese toilet god was born from the excrement of Izanami, the goddess of the Earth. In the past, fertiliser consisted of human dung. It was offered to the toilet god to enjoy a good harvest and for protection from falling into the toilet pit.

Being guided with this heritage, the Japanese inventor Kazuchika Okura, after his visit to the West, was motivated to modernise Japanese bathrooms.

After successfully doing this, he innovated by integrating the features of the bidet, resulting in the first electric Toto toilet.

What are some of its features?

What are the features of Toto toilets?

Below are the basic features of a Toto toilet:

  • Bidet spray, with water pressure control
  • Automatic opening of lid upon sensing a person’s approach
  • Automatic flushing and closure of the cover upon detecting completion
  • Seat warmers
  • Self-cleaning wand (Ewater+)
  • Automatic spraying of the toilet bowl with anti-bacterial cleaner before use
  • Options for front and rear cleansing with different degrees of pressure, water types, and oscillating/pulsating functions
  • Warm air dryer
  • Power deodoriser
  • Water massage
  • Music during each flush

More people are discovering that using the toilet is an enjoyable experience. These features are appealing but are you interested in owning a Toto toilet yourself?

Should you own one? 

If you’re thinking of having one for your home, here are some factors to consider.

Toto toilets can either be one-piece or two-piece designs. The former is an integrated toilet bowl and toilet tank, which is easy to clean and ideal for small spaces. The latter has these separately, which take up more space but are very durable.

High-end versions can be expensive. However, Toto also offers more affordable models but with less features.

If you prefer a water-efficient toilet, the Toto toilet is the answer. With its water sense technology, it uses 1.28 gallons per flush, which is less than the standard toilet’s 1.6 gallons per flush.

Regarding toilet bowls, Toto toilets offer oval, round, and elongated ones. For small spaces, the round toilet bowl is suitable.

The standard height of any flushing toilet is 14-15 inches from the floor to the seat. Toto toilets follow the same height. However, if the bathroom will be used by older adults or the disabled, refer to your country’s standards. In the U.S, the ADA compliant standard is 17-19 inches.

So if ever you’re planning to have Toto toilets around in your home, with its focus on personal hygiene, it surely is a worthwhile addition to any bathroom.

-This is a guest post not written by this websites’ owner.