Shinjuku shopping — check. Eating at Ginza — check. Visiting Asakusa Shrine — check. Stop at TOTO Toilet Museum… hmmm, let me think about it for a while.
Okay, given that the average person spends a lot of time sitting on the toilet, then maybe a visit to the TOTO Toilet Museum is not so odd.
And besides, the Japanese are world famous for their toilets.
Cleanliness and proper hygiene are embedded into Japanese culture. It comes to no surprise that innovation permeates to every single household item, including the bathroom.
As Japan’s leading toilet manufacturer, TOTO spent $60 million constructing a museum that is dedicated to its century-long history. See the above video for more on that.
The museum features TOTO’s first designs leading up to its current high-tech models, such as the Washlet, which features a warm water nozzle (with temperature control and self-cleaning function), heated seats, deodorizer, and dryer.
Now, you may think that only a few people may have such an extravagant toilet, but over half of Japan’s households have a Washlet.
If you want one yourself, just be warned; high-tech toilets aren’t cheap. Prepare to spend from $600 to $6,000 depending if you want full options.
TOTO’s website says the museum’s design incorporates “100 environment-friendly measures that address environmental issues in seven areas: water saving, heat control, energy saving, recycling, ecology, maintenance, and air control.”
It’s built with solar chimneys, high insulation glass, LED lighting, natural ventilation, and has rooftop greening. The pavement is made from the sanitary ware scraps produced from TOTO’s manufacturing process.
Other exhibits featured at the museum include toilets built for Buckingham Palace in the 1920s, and the bathroom suite used by General MacArthur. Admission to the museum is free.
Beyond the world’s best toilets, there are a few things that baffle foreigners in Japan. Here is a top 10 list below: