Some of the greatest things about this country are the juxtapositions. Things are connected here in ways that they were never intended to be - socially, physically and even gramatically.
Perhaps this is nowhere more evident than in the bathroom. You see, the Japanese have developed what is likely the world's greatest toilet. This wonderful device includes a heated seat, a butt washer, a bidet (lady parts washer, for all you single men out there), multiple water flush levels, a deoderizer, a fan, "flushing sounds" (so that your internal orchestra can't be heard), and now... motion sensitive seats!
Adding to the technical achievement is the fact that the toilet is not controlled by any sort of crappy knob system, but rather by a wall mounted control panel (computer bank?).
Check out the sweet graphics for "ass" and what they did to avoid depicting "washing a vagina" in cartoon format.
Oh... and with buttons on the top of the control panel, you can also control different aspects of the seat. Now there's no need to use your foot to lift the seat in a skeezy bar bathroom!!!
/I know I promised not to take any more cell phone videos, but I felt weird enough making "picture" sounds in the stall. I didn't feel the need to cart in a giant camera with a huge telephoto lens.
//.... ha ha... very funny.
Of course, much in the way that your sweet old grandma can talk a lot of crap after a bottle of wine, nothing is perfect. Thus, all is not roses in the land of the Japanese bathroom. The "traditional" (aka "train station") bathroom is somewhat less technical. In fact, it consists of little more than a flushable hole in the floor.
While this hole has the admirable benefit of only needing to be cleaned once every winter, it has some significant drawbacks:
1) You have to squat uncomfortably. No magazine reading for you, mister.
2) If you aren't careful, you might crap on your shoes.
3) Drinking and going to the bathroom takes on a whole new risk level. Avoid it.
4) When you finish your business, it's WAAY more "in-your-face".
5) No more "I got it from the toilet seat, baby", excuses.
6) Did I mention that you can poo on your shoes a lot more easily?
7) You. Might. Poo. On. Your. Shoes.
There is a trick to it, which I will share with all of you non-Japanites (just in case you ever drop by, or need to crap in the woods). Pull your pants down to the lower thigh, rather than all the way down to your ankles. This minimizes the chances that you will have any...complications.
And of course, there is one more dirty little secret to the Japanese bathroom. Take a look at this picture.
Do you notice anything missing? Anything.... hygenic? Like SOAP??
For some reason, soap seems to be quite optional here. To all you people at the Fucked Up Shit Department, I would like to know how you can automate a toilet to the point where it is practically qualified to vote for me in municipal elections, yet miss something as essential as soap?!?!
Maybe if we had Robo-soap.
/For the record, I have never pooed on my shoes, but it remains my greatest Japanese bathroom fear.