By Chris Greenaway
No place in the world has a wider variety of ways to relieve yourself than Japan. You can do it the traditional way, the Japanese traditional way or even a method in between.
Now that you have mastered the toughest one and most common, you have graduated to the inbetweener. This one is an elevated toilet for those who aren`t good at squatting and/or aren’t comfortable with their pants and underwear directly over the bowl area. (Your aim must be 100% accurate to master the traditional Japanese toilet so be careful and get LOTS of practice in before arriving.) The inbetweener shown above, is a good way to cheat while squatting without a messy aftermath. Here, if you clean it beforehand, you can do it the Western way or squat. The best of both worlds and a good first step towards using the tougher, traditional Japanese toilet.
Now that this is out of the way, you are free to use a normal, Western toilet. In chain restaurants that originate in the West like McDonald`s and the likes, they have western style toilets but the beauty of them is that the seats are HEATED! This is great in the wintertime because most Japanese bathrooms are much colder than any other place in any Japanese home or building. (Why? It looks like one of those unexplained phenominons right now.)
If you follow the steps in the link above and are careful, you will not have any problems adjusting to one of the single toughest parts of adjusting to life in Japan. Surviving this will also take you a long way towards surviving culture shock upon arrival.
Until next time, happy squatting!