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Navigating Japan

If you are lucky enough to be visiting Japan for the Olympics or for any other reason and you don't speak, let alone read, Japanese - you might find that there are symbols and pictograms for everything. Helping you navigate sporting events maybe self-explanatory - archery, swimming, equestrian etc.,, but the real challenge will be exploring everyday Japan. With the onslaught of visitors predicted to visit Japan in 2020, it was agreed by the Japanese Sanitaryware Association that TOTO along with other manufacturers would standardise their programmable shower toilets with a range of symbols. Why? I hear you say, well According to a Survey by Japan’s Cabinet Office, 77.5% of Japanese households in 2015 used warm water washing systems.

The Japanese shower toilet or WASHLET as TOTO call them are used by a lot of people. They have so many surprising features for the uninitiated too: from pre-misting the bowl, heated seated, warm water washing, heat regulated dryer, sensor activated lid and more. Plus with its remote control it is programmable for multi-users, the symbols are a handy reference tool.

If you have never tried one (and you really should) these are the iPhones of the bathroom world. Some inventions have transformed people’s living habits so dramatically that we think of them as milestones – like the smartphone, internet, email, television, etc. These inventions have taken our daily rituals in a new direction. With over 50 million WASHLETs sold globally they are here to stay. Check out these symbols on the remote controls. If you aren't visiting Japan then take a look at or try one at TOTO's Clerkenwell showroom in London.


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