The eternal mystery of the Japanese toilet

     Someday I am going to sit down somewhere and move my old website,, to this website. It’s going to take forever as it must be over 100 pages that have to be recoded, but I can say with some certainty that subsequently the most popular page of this website will be my Toilet Photo Spectacular of unique toilets around the world. I make no assumptions about what this means about us as a society. I’m just here to give the people what they want.

     I have trouble programming a VCR; how long will it take me to master 16 buttons on a toilet?
     What if I don’t want the bum rush? How do I just flush the thing? Luckily it is fully equipped with sensors. In fact, the toilet lid lifted automatically as I approached it.
     It is rare that public toilets in Japan, even in the busiest of places, won’t have toilet paper. Speaking of which, since I am recently feeling my mortality and I see that life is too short not to ask, I have begun interviewing friends about their toilet habits. The revelation has been the negative view of using toilet paper—but this is maybe a topic for another time. Why did I bring this up?
     Toto, the manufacturer, is the Rolls Royce of toilets in the industry—just so you know. I think top-end toilets, and I have seen them with remote control, are upwards of $5000.
     By the way, also on my old website, I have a pretty large section on Japan. The most interesting parts are probably the pictures of the variety of people who have picked me up hitchhiking and the pictures of the has-to-be-seen-to-be-believed Harajuku/Yoyogi Park scene. You won’t be disappointed. Check it out!
     I’ve been teetering on the verge of being sick the last couple of days, probably a manifestation of my sleeplessness. It’s always a relief to be visiting a friend and not dying in a hostel when you are sick, but it also can’t be much fun for any host or friend to deal with a lifeless, possibly contagious blob.

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