Japan has many weird inventions made to ensure the comfort and relaxation of their customers. These can range from silent karaoke microphones to eye-drop funnels and also bubble wrap popping keychains. This long list of weird Japanese inventions must also include the toilets and and its bizarre high tech features it possesses. For Japanese people themselves, they would not bother, but for foreigners who are not familiar to high tech Japanese toilets, will most definitely have the fright of their life when they first try to use them. These smart toilets may not seem important but surprisingly, they have been installed in over 80% of Japanese households! So much more compared to dishwashers which have only been installed in around 25% of Japanese households! All of its high tech functions make Japanese toilets a very popular invention.

In many Japanese households and shopping malls, there are high-tech toilets and washlet with all sorts of features. When thinking of high-tech features, many would think of the ‘washlet’ which is the registered trademark of TOTO LTD. In fact, the toilet has many different buttons and functions that would cause much confusion when seeing and using it for the first time. However, there are many useful and handy features within that device that you will surely love. As a matter of fact, people would wonder why they don’t have them in their own countries. But at the same time, there would be some strange features that some might think wouldn’t be necessary. Listed below is the top 10 weird but high tech useful features of Japanese toilets and washlets.

Table of Contents

1) Top 10: Auto Cleaning
2) Top 9: Over The Toilet Sink
3) Top 8: Sound Princess 
4) Top 7: Heated Seat
5) Top 6: Front/Rear Washing
6) Top 5: Plusate
7) Top 4: Oscillate
8) Top 3: Temperature
9) Top 2: Dryer/Cooler
10) Top 1: Flow Sky

Weird Japanese Toilet and Washlet High Tech Features #10 Auto Cleaning

Auto Cleaning

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This automatic function of the washlet is something all toilets should have! It allows many people to not have to worry about being in charge of cleaning the dreaded toilet. The sensors in the toilet can recognize when someone has finished doing their business and would automatically flush the toilet. There is no longer any need to worry that someone has forgotten to flush after using the toilet. The automatic functions do not stop there. Once the toilet finishes flushing, it will then sanitize itself, making it perfectly clean for the next person to use. If you happen to have a bad stomach ache and release a bad case of number 2 causing some terrible odor, don’t worry.. This high-tech toilet would once again, automatically deodorize itself to get rid of any odor that have remained. Such a useful function isn’t it?

Weird Japanese Toilet and Washlet High Tech Features #9 Over The Toilet Sink

Over The Toilet Sink


To save on space as well as water many toilets have an over the toilet sink. The tap would automatically release clean water after the user flushes the toilet. The water used to clean your hands would then flow into the toilet bowl for flushing waste. Instead of flushing the toilet and then using a different sink to wash your hands, you could use the sink over the toilet. This feature is designed to save money and reuse water making it quite environmentally friendly.

Although this feature saves on space and water, having the sink on top of the toilet tank, can be a bit awkward. In fact, having to reach over the toilet to wash your hands is a strange feeling. Especially when there are children who might not be tall enough to reach over to wash their hands. It is a useful feature for adults but for younger children, it may not. Children might have to stand on top of the toilet seat to be able to wash their hands.

Weird Japanese Toilet and Washlet High Tech Features #8 Sound Princess

Sound Princess

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The sound princess is directly translated from its Japanese name 音姫 (otohime). It is a feature where music plays to cover the sounds which others may hear when using a public toilet. Apparently, there are many Japanese women who are very embarrassed by the thought of other ladies hearing them use the toilet. They would then excessively flush the toilet to drown out the sound of their pee and cause a large amount of waste water. This eventually resulted in the invention of the sound princess.

Usually, you will find two kinds. For the first one, there is a button near the toilet for someone to press whenever they want to. As for second one, it automatically plays music once someone sits down to start their business. You may see this everywhere especially at department stores, shopping malls, hotels, etc. The music played by the sound princess can sound like something very similar to the sound of a toilet flushing. For some other places, instead, there could be the calming sound of nature.

Weird Japanese Toilet and Washlet High Tech Features #7 Heated Seat

Heated Seat

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Instead of having a seat cover for the toilet to warm yourself, the smart toilet has in-built heating. Isn’t this just great?! The seat itself is warm and heated, ready for your bottom to sit down on. Therefore you won’t have to struggle through your business with a cold backside. This feature is just perfect for the winter and the elderly. Since the seating is usually cold it would give a small shock to whoever sits on it, even when they cover themselves in warm clothes. However, the heated toilet seat is perfect when preventing this. Whenever someone approaches the toilet seat, it automatically heats up to a comfortable temperature. Moreover, the in-built sensor maintains a temperature of 27°C to 36°C allowing for maximum comfort during the cold winter days. 

Weird Japanese Toilet and Washlet High Tech Features #6 Front/Rear Washing

Front/Rear Washing


This feature does seem a bit scary if people don’t know about it! But it is something everyone needs to try at least once! Try pressing either the ビデ (bidet) or the おしり (oshiri) button which are the front and rear washing functions. A nozzle appears and releases a spray of water to cleanse the genitalia. The water spray will then stop after pressing the 止 (tome) button. Instantly the nozzle would then clean itself and retract back into the toilet. Nothing else would make it more hygienic to clean than using water. So much more comfortable than dry toilet paper too! As a matter of fact, the skin around the anal area is relatively sensitive. Wiping with dry toilet paper which contains virgin wood fibers or recycled paper mixed with chemicals could cause damage to the skin.

Weird Japanese Toilet and Washlet High Tech Features #5 Plusate


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The washlet does not have just any normal front and/or rear washing but there is also the ‘pulsating’ option. This function allows different water pressures when using the washlet. While you are using the front/rear washing, you can also adjust the water flow with the 水勢 (suisei) water pressure option. This option has even more buttons which indicate 5 different pressures. For example, 弱 (jyaku) weaker and 強 (kyou) stronger buttons, allows for more minute personalization. This feature allows you to customize your preference of pressure. When you use it well, it can become like a massage for your lower area. The pulsate button can make the nozzle automatically release water which changes between soft and hard water pressures to give a thorough and comfortable cleanse. Rather than feeling stressed using the toilet, this feature lets you come out of the toilet refreshed and relaxed.

Weird Japanese Toilet and Washlet High Tech Features #4 Oscillate



The Japanese technicians who made these washlet functions know and understand that not every human is the same. Not only about the personality or characteristics, but especially when it comes to body features. People can be bigger or small resulting in different positions of genitalia.

There is not only the option of changing the water pressure but there is also the ムーブ (mubu/move) oscillate button for a further customizable washing. This feature lets the nozzle that appears when using the front/rear washing to move back and forth. This is to figure out a better position when spraying water since not all bodies are the same. The nozzle has its position at a precise angle of 43° and by using the oscillate option there are 5 different nozzle extension positions for a more satisfying cleanse. The oscillating feature can also vibrate the nozzle back and forth to target and wash a much wider area.

Weird Japanese Toilet and Washlet High Tech Features #3 Temperature


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There are many features to ensure the comfort of the user even if it is just about keeping your bottom warm from the chill. After finishing your business in the toilet, feel the warmth by the in-built heaters in the toilet seat. However, there is no point in keeping the user warm if they are going to get the unpleasant shock of cold water touching their body when they are using the front/rear washing. This can only mean there is a function that would heat the water that will be sprayed.

The 温水 (onsui) or hot water feature makes sure that the user will stay warm while they using the washlet. Rather than being shocked with cold water this function heats the water up while the user is being cleansed. The warm water will relax the muscles allowing for the anal area to be thoroughly cleaned. Furthermore, it will make the user feel like they had just finished taking a warm bath or shower.

Weird Japanese Toilet and Washlet High Tech Features #2 Dryer/Cooler


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The Japanese toilet and washlet does not pull out any stops to serve out the full course! Meaning, there is no longer any need for toilet paper! These high-tech features make going to the toilet completely hands free. After using the front/rear wash and personalizing your cleaning with the pulsate and oscillate options, check this out!

The washlet ensures that you won’t have to use your hands for going to the toilet anymore. The 乾燥 (kansou) dryer button will even dry off your wet behind for you. After being cleaned without your hands, why would you need to use your hands at the very end to wipe off the water? The dryer feature will make sure you have been dried off and are warm. Moreover, if it is a hot day, there is even the cooler option leaving the user cooled and refreshed. How much more can you ask for?!

Weird Japanese Toilet and Washlet High Tech Features #1 Flow Sky

Toto Flow Sky

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The weirdest high-tech feature a toilet could have is keeping a track on your health. A new smart Japanese toilet called ‘Flow Sky’ is used to monitor and check for any abnormalities in the urine. They are used mainly in hospitals. In addition to that, some features measure the user’s body fat, blood pressure, and the level of sugar in the urine to see if there might be any prostate or bladder problems.

To explain further, the sensors can measure changes in the volume of urine over time. Then can calculate to provide data of the changes in health. This information will eventually send through to their doctors or to themselves. This feature is extremely useful for taking care of your health making it very practical. Instead of having to visit a doctor for a check-up, many people especially the elderly own this toilet. They don’t have to leave their house to have a health check since they could do it at home!

In Conclusion

Some foreigners might probably only think of the high-tech features that Japanese toilets have as another weird and typical characteristic of Japan. Notably, Japan has released many odd inventions but these were made to assure the relief of whomever might use them. The amount of care Japan puts into hygiene and health care is impressive. The Japanese toilet and washlet is the result of the high standards in which Japanese people have, in regards to hospitality and taking care of their customers. They have meticulously and carefully paid attention to every detail. Even to ensure a simple deed like going to the toilet will leave whoever uses it satisfied and refreshed. The high-tech and highly intelligent toilet supports their users through their lives in useful ways. (In weird ways for people who aren’t familiar to them…)

Some might think, some of the functions of the washlet are redundant or might even be going too far. (After all, it is simply just a toilet used to excrete their waste into). Is there a need to make sure going to the toilet is a comfortable process? For Japanese people who have grown up with these inventions, these are essential. High-tech Japanese toilets are in fact, a must-have household item rather than a normal toilet with no features. The Japanese toilets and its many functions are constantly upgrading and improving. These efforts are to ensure the user to experience maximum comfort when doing their business.

If you are interested in more amazing Japanese products, check out this list, Top 10 Japanese Cosmetics Online Shopping Stores that Ship Internationally too!