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Feel the cleanliness of Japan's toilets!

People are newly enrolled at schools and newly hired at companies in this season when the cherry blossoms bloom. April in Japan is the month of new lifestyles everywhere as it generally marks new semesters and fiscal years. Multifunctional toilets are spreading everywhere in Japan such as in schools and offices, where new lifestyles begin. “WASHLET™s” (bidets by TOTO), which come as a surprise and thrill to visitors from abroad, are the representative of multifunctional toilets of Japan that are constantly evolving independently. As a nation, Japan also has an own “toilet culture” that is also in constant development. Take a look at the leading-edge toilets of Japan, which let you experience Japan's toilet culture!

Improved quality of life starts with comfortable restrooms

The Government of Japan holds a conference for reviewing the “quality of life” and has established the “Japan Toilet Awards”, which gather cases involving life quality that include comfortable restroom atmospheres. New ideas and activities concerning restrooms were gathered from May 26 to July 20, 2015. An Awards ceremony and symposium for the winner out of 378 entries was held on September 14, 2015, and it turned out to be a valuable opportunity to discuss restrooms.

The high-rise complex tower Shibuya Hikarie is directly connected to the new area of Shibuya Station, which was designed by architect Tadao Ando, has four basement floors and thirty-four floors above the ground and consists of commercial facilities on the lower floors, cultural facilities on the central floors, and offices on the upper floors. ShinQs, which is on the lower floors, is a new commercial facility that is targeted at working and trend-conscious women. ShinQs in Shibuya Hikarie won the last Japan Toilet Awards for commercial facilities. Let us take a look at some of the facilities that defy the concept of standard restrooms.

The Switch Room on the 5th floor is equipped with paid foot massage machines, paid oxygen bars, and more

The Switch Room on the 4th floor lets you enjoy its extraordinary designs themed on “virtual trips”

The restrooms on the six floors of ShinQs are called “Switch Rooms”. They give off an atmosphere that far exceeds that of standard restrooms based on the concept of switching between work mode and off work mode as well as the ordinary and extraordinary. Each floor has a different theme conceived by a project team consisting mostly of women who aim to “design the world's finest restrooms”. Their inventiveness lies not only in their designs but also in how each floor differs in features such as background music and fragrances.

The Switch Room on the 3rd floor is stylishly designed with black as its base color. The glass case in the center is a gallery space that displays art

The theme for the 2BF Switch Room is “Mammy's STAGE”. The room in front of the women-only nursing room is a small powder room with mirrors.

The “Sanitizing Water” for keeping toilets clean.

TOTO's WASHLET™s decompose and remove fungus, which is the cause of tainted toilets, with clean “Sanitizing Water.” Sanitizing Water is made by electrolytically decomposing the chloride ion in tap water and contains a sanitizing component (hypochlorous acid). It is friendly to the environment as it contains no chemicals or detergents, is made with tap water, and gradually returns to normal water. The toilets are sprayed with Sanitizing Water mist after use or every eight hours to prevent tainting.

Bowl is sprayed with Sanitizing Water to prevent tainting

The “Oita Toilennale” has turned toilets into works of art

The “Oita Toilennale”, which casts a new light on toilet culture by combining toilets and art, is the only art festival in the world of its kind that was held in the summer of 2015 at Oita City, Oita Prefecture in Kyushu. “Toilennale” is a coined term where “toilet” and “triennale” have been combined. 180,000 tourists came to visit during the events (July to September 2015).

By sculptor Yasuhito Kawasaki. An expressive piece that gives you a sense of anticipation when going to the restroom.

A piece by Hiroshi Fuji where a toilet has been turned into a work of art with discarded toys

Many tourists enjoyed visiting the shops, buildings, and parks as they gathered and walked through the streets to see these works of art. What made their experience unique is that all of the pieces were toilets. They were also able to interact with the local residents while enjoying the artwork. This is all thanks to simple toilets. This shows that the toilets of Japan can also be the starting of a culture.

A piece by Tochka, who are known for their imagery made with the use of penlights. Images, “Graffiti of lights” by roughly 250 residents of Oita City emerge from within on the outer wall of the toilet

Four pieces are still open to the public in Oita City even after the 2015 “Oita Toilennale”.

By the artist Minako Nishiyama. Her work has attracted attention in the style with the motif of “Cute” and “Pink”.

Cleanliness during use with “self-cleaning” functions

TOTO's WASHLET™s also have highly sophisticated nozzles for washing your backside. The nozzles are automatically cleaned each time before use. They are also cleaned with “Sanitizing Water” after use.

“Self-cleaning Function

Transmitting Japan's toilet culture and technological capabilities

The “GALLERY TOTO”, which conveys the excellence of Japan's toilet culture and technological capabilities to visitors from abroad, is located at the relaxing space,“NARITA SKY LOUNGE Wa”, in the accessway to passenger terminal No. 2 at Narita International Airport. This toilet gallery, which the architectural unit Klein Dytham architecture worked on and is the only one of its kind in the world, is one of the pieces that have won the Japan Toilet Awards.

Various images that look like performances held on the other side of sliding paper doors appear on the huge LED panels located at the front of GALLERY TOTO (Photo:DAICI ANO)

There are ten booths of various shapes in the glassy atmosphere of GALLERY TOTO. When passing through the entrance, you will find multipurpose toilets and nursing rooms to your right and left with four unique gender-segregated toilets and booths on each side.

Complete with baby seats, baby chairs, and Ostomate-accessible multipacks for various users

See photos of scenic spots that are reminiscent of water such as Mount Fuji and waterfalls in the booths with the latest TOTO products and experience the wonders of Japan's leading edge toilet products in a space filled with a playful spirit.

Experience the fixtures using TOTO's latest technology in every booth (Photo:DAICI ANO)

Save water with “Tornado Flush” after use

TOTO's “Tornade Flush” system is one of the leading-edge technologies which have achieved 3.8L flushing.

“Tornado Flush” function

Reprinted with permission from JNTO "JAPAN Monthly Web Magazine"

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