Japanese Toilets Are……..AWESOME!!! And Here’s Why.

I know it seems strange for a grown man to have a near-obsession with Japanese toilets. These are no ordinary toilets, my friends. If you could have heard the laughter from everyone after returning from my first Japan trip and revealing my tales of the magic bowl, you would not fault me for my reluctance at telling anyone how great the Washlet was (since I am virtually anonymous here I might as well tell you.) Let’s Just for this blog refer to Japan as the land of the flushing bowl rather than the rising sun.

A modern Japanese bathroom with WASHLET (hi-tech toilet)

For anyone who has traveled to Japan, they will list discovering a modern Japanese toilet as one of their most unusual experiences. Japan is far ahead of the rest of the world with fascinating hi-tech toilets that captivate anyone after the first use. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, then it’s your luck. Because here, I will share exactly why I think Japanese toilets are awesome.

The magic controls

Japanese toilets come equipped with dozens of features from classic bidet sprayers to heated seats. It also provides water and air drying ability that you can adjust to your preferred temperatures.

If you are amazed by the functionalities of a Japanese toilet, you will be surprised to know that there’s more. So let’s dive in…..figuratively of course.

What Is Special About Japanese Toilets?

Taking the regular design to the next level, a Japanese modern toilet comes equipped with numerous hi-tech features. All of these functions use electricity to operate and improves the overall hygiene and comfort of your bathroom experience.

But what are all these functions that set apart a Japanese toilet from a regular one in the west? A standard Japanese toilet comes with a heat-adjustable seat that keeps the toilet seats warm even during the winter. You get a bidet that ensures a comfortable and better hygienic clean with every use.

All in one unit shown here

With automatic toilet seats and even self-cleaning functions, a Japanese toilet has set the bar high for the overall toilet game in the world. There are even some models that are eco-friendly and save water by using only a fraction of water that a standard one would use.

What Are Japanese Toilets Called?

A modern Japanese toilet has many names, and people all over the world have a name in their own dialect. But in Japan, most people refer to it as a Washlet ( ウォシュレット ) and pronounce it as “Woshuretto”.

The term “Washlet” was first coined and trademarked by Toto, the top-selling manufacturer behind the washlet toilet seat.  In other parts of the world, the modern Japanese toilet may be called a shower toilet or a super toilet.

Some models have wall-mounted controls

What’s the Best Brand of Washlet?

Out of all the various brands of Washlets available in the market, I would argue Toto is the best. Back in 1980, Toto was the creator behind the Washlet. Even after three decades of manufacturing, the brand is still going strong with hi-tech marvel.

Seat-mounted controls shown

What Is the Difference Between a Washlet and a Bidet?

No house is truly complete without a washlet. If you are looking to install a modern Japanese toilet, choosing the right one is a must. If you want the best quality cleaning capabilities and trust that comes with a reliable brand, you cannot go wrong with Toto. I’m biased as I own two of them at home and can’t imagine not having a warm seat at 2 am on a cold winters morning

A washlet is a Japanese toilet seat made by the Japanese toilet manufacturer Toto (among others). But a bidet is a European toilet fixture seen in most households there and sometimes positioned next to a standard toilet. 

A bidet is a separate feature that is generally installed next to a toilet. On the other hand, a washlet is a seat you need to install on top of your toilet bowl. The toilet seat has integrated bidet features and many other hi-tech functions including air dry and a range of water spray settings.

Why Are Bidets Popular in Japan?

Japan is a country that values cleanliness and order over most anything. So the many features of a bidet that provide better personal hygiene, overall cleanliness, and efficiency make it an attractive choice over a traditional western toilet.

A bidet has many features such as automatic flushing and cleaning that help reduce the spread of disease and germs. Because Japan is a country that values modern technology and innovation to solve its problems, the bidet naturally became a popular choice.

10 Things to Know About a Washlet

The modern Japanese toilet is so popular that almost 81 percent of households in the country have them. For most foreigners, the numerous functions a Washlet comes with is nothing but fascinating.

All the functions that a washlet comes with can make your life easier. Let’s look at 10 of them that you must know about:

  • Automation: Thanks to a motion sensor, the lid of certain model washlets will open when you approach it. So you don’t even need to bend down uncomfortably.
  • Cleans by Itself: Washlets come equipped with a self-cleaning nozzle. It can perform a deep clean of the interior at the simple touch of a button.
  • Deodorizing: Some Washlets come equipped with a fantastic air deodorizer that helps to keep your bathroom smelling fresh all day.
  • Bidet: The bidet wash feature of a washlet ensures that you get a thoroughly hygienic and comfortable clean every time you use it.
  • Sustainable: With a washlet, you will never need to buy toilet paper ever again. Or at least very little of it.
  • Comfortable: Inarguably, the heated seats of the Washlet can provide you the utmost comfort any time, any day.
  • Customizable: With a handy remote control panel, you can easily customize the Washlet settings according to your preferences.
  • Modern and Luxurious: With the endless features a washlet brings to your bathroom, these toilets are bound to make you feel luxurious.
  • Stylish: A washlet comes in numerous styles and designs that can transform the whole look of your bathroom. 
  • Eco-Friendly: A washlet is highly eco-friendly as they use only a fraction of the water a traditional toilet would use.
Even restaurants and department stores have mission control switches

Water will always take the form of the vase it fills.

Japanese proverb

My First Experience With a Japanese Toilet

Before I visited Japan, I never thought much about toilets, and they all seemed pretty much the same. But this view changed 180 degrees after I went on a trip to Japan.

No doubt, a Japanese toilet is much more comfortable to use and best in terms of hygiene. But the other functions, such as heat-adjustable seats, automatic lid opener, self-cleaning, and many others, were a huge positive change to my life.

Well, the heated seats wear a bit hard to get used to at first. The only time you get heated toilet seats in America is when you sit on a toilet right after somebody else. (gross right!) So, at first, a lot of unpleasant memories related to warm toilet seats used to pop up in my head. But as time went on, I got more and more used to it and eventually started loving it, especially in the winter.

After my visit to Japan, I wanted my home and office toilets to have the same functionalities. So, I purchased one which eventually led to two more washlets, and tried them out for my home and office. My family and co-workers had the best reactions after trying them out. Let’s check them out, as well as their pros and cons.

1. Toto SW3036#01 K300

I bought the Toto SW3036#01 washlet for my home master bath. Among all the other choices, it came at a reasonable price and had all the important functions I could ask for.

My wife was ecstatic about the water heating feature as it can provide a continuous flow of warm water. She liked the wand of the bidet with both front and rear wash. In addition, there are five spray settings, and could easily choose the one she prefered.

Pros

  • There’s instant water heating to ensure a continuous flow of warm water.
  • PREMIST cleansing technology.
  • Five spray settings in addition to front and rear washing.

Cons

  • The manuals can be a little complicated on first read thru to install.
  • The seat doesn’t open or close automatically.

Check Amazon Price

2. Big Bidet Bliss BB-2000

I purchased the Big Bidet Bliss BB2000 washlet and installed it in our guest bathroom. It is a bidet seat that looks very modern and luxurious. It is a bit on the pricier side and comes with numerous features.

When my family first saw it, (after their shock wore off) they were surprised by how many features it offered. But after using a few times, they were thoroughly impressed. The remote control makes it super easy to use.

Pros

  • Hydro flush that helps the Washlet clean itself.
  • Luxurious nightlight.
  • Wireless remote control.

Cons

  • There’s no automatic open and close function.
  • There’s no mode available for younger children.

Check Amazon Price

3. TOTO SW2014#01 A100

I purchased the Toto SW2014#01 A100 washlet for the bathroom at my office. It is one of the cheapest ones I found in the Toto lineup but had all the features I was looking for. When my co-workers first saw the Washlet, their initial reaction was to laugh at it.

But the many features of the Washlet did not fail and after using it for a while, they all loved it. With a self-cleaning wand, adjustable water settings, and warm water, there’s no way they could not love it.

Pros

  • The lid closes softly and doesn’t slam.
  • The wand has self cleaning mode.
  • More affordable than most other models.

Cons

  • The size is a little smaller than I would like.

Check Amazon Price

My personal summary

A modern Japanese toilet can make your life a whole lot easier. For those who don’t know much about a Japanese toilets or a washlet. They are worth every penny you invest in them. Just remember the great toilet paper shortage of 2020 among other things.

MT Lee
My fascination with Japan began several years back at a roadside bonsai stand while on vacation. I became more interested in the where and why's more than the trees themselves. My love of Bonsai led me to further research my interest in the gardens where they originated from and the places and people that surrounded those little trees. My curiosity was well rewarded upon visiting Saitama where the National Bonsai Museum was located and Omiya Village the bonsai mecca for lovers of this ancient art form. Exploring many towns and villages and even making my way to Japan's furthest southern prefecture of Okinawa. I hope to share my love of this wonderful and exotic place with all those who want to know more about Japan.