Japanese toilets come in three guises.
  1. a toilet
  2. a hyper-toilet with loads of buttons etc (well founded stereotype)
  3. squatty potty
In times of old (20 years ago or something), most number 2s were done in number 3s. Nowadays, you'll still find squatties in most train stations, country schools and other public facilities. Some people go on about squatties being good for your rectum or something, but to be honest I think you'll be fine either way. At least with a regular toilet there's little risk of urinating in your own pocket.

Anyway, below is my deftly illustrated guide on how to correctly operate over such a thing.

Step 1: Get totally naked. This is optional, but my friend couldn't go any other way for fear of messing himself up.

Step 2: Squat facing the raised end and fittings.

Step 3: Poop. Peeing is also acceptable.

Step 4: Flush. Wiping is also a popular preceding step.

Job done. Get dressed if necessary.

As an addendum, you would do well to note two things:

  1. We Westerners are not well adapted to the flat-foot squatting which Asians do a lot. Luckily, the metal fittings on the front of the toilet serve well as handles should you need them.
  2. Those same metal fittings are reflective. Do NOT look at them unless you want to see the very worst your body has to offer.

Happy shitting!

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