Why Aren’t We All Using Japanese Toilets?

The first time the gentle stream of warm water hits your derrière, it’s quite startling. By the second time the water hits its mark, you’re a convert. Why on earth would you use your hand and paper, when a machine can pleasantly and perfectly wash your bum? These exquisite toilets are everywhere in Japan and yet can barely be found in the United States.

Toto G500. Image credit: 3rings.

For anyone who has traveled through Japan, one of the greatest cultural experiences is discovering a modern Japanese toilet. These toilets, known as “washlets”, have many amazing features – the most notable of which is they render toilet paper obsolete. After using one of these washlets for a while, you can’t help but wonder why the American toilet experience is so primitive. Why has technological progress not eviscerated the need for toilet paper in America like it has in Japan?