Tokyo John

I don’t think it will be fair to continue to write about our trip to Japan without dedicating at least ONE post to those bare necessities of life.

In other words – this post is about to go down the toilet.

The association of Tokyo and electronics is an easy one to make. With all of the gadgets, cameras, and buildings that seem to be made solely out of LED screens the association doesn’t seem too far off base.

I don’t think I would have ever expected this technological front line to be present in the John, however that’s just what we discovered when checking out the – eh – ‘accommodations’.


Toilet seat warmers, self closing lids, and a flush that anticipates when you’re done with your business.

To top it all there’s this panel of buttons on the side that, instead of assuring me of how technologically advanced this toilet was, only made me worry that I had been outsmarted and would be sucked down the drain if I pushed the wrong button. It really doesn’t help that this blinking display of technological superiority is eye level. Staring you down. Daring you to make the wrong selection.

Go ahead, make your choice...

I thought to myself – probably due to a need to protect my now-shattered ego having been outdone by the smart-toilet: what a frilly add-on. Who needs this?

That this land of seemingly endless innovation (seriously, heated toilet seats? I guess I’m still a little awe-struck…) is also the land of squat toilets is baffling at times.

It's this or smart-toilet

Isn’t there a happy medium?

Fast forward to our stay at a traditional Ryoken in Kyoto where the bathrooms are in the courtyard and the temperatures dropped at night and my thoughts quickly changed.

Thank goodness for heated toilet seats! Why doesn’t everyone have these?!

Perspective, perspective.

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