Japan is attracting a record number of tourists into the country. To be more specific, it is gearing to hold the famed Tokyo Olympic Games come the year 2020 and the Rugby World Cup in 2019, and as a result, the number of tourists is growing tremendously.
Thus, there is a concerted effort from relevant authorities to make the country more welcoming and enjoyable as one goes about the normal stay in the country. Toilets in Japan are being transformed for easier use, thanks to the agreement pact signed by manufacturers to assist in standardizing the symbols used in the high-tech toilet panels.
It is a major35-year shift from a previous case where every manufacturer, used own pictograms to indicate every function on the toilet design. The Japan Sanitary Equipment Industry Association noted this is something that confuses tourists, not so familiar with the symbols.
As they realized, it’s not a good gesture for the visitors to keep face challenges in use of these high-tech toilets, leave alone the struggle to cope with the use of chopsticks, going for French fries with a Teriyaki. This standardization of the high-tech icons could help in big way foreigners leaving restrooms feeling more welcomed and be more comfortable with their stay in Japan.
Some of the Challenges Faced
- Some foreigners have previously faced ambiguities in using Japan’s high-tech toilets, which come with more functionality, beyond just doing a flush.
- Other challenges range from pressings wrong buttons due to confusing icons, resulting in streams of water pouring all over your nether parts, something that can piss off and be a big inconvenience to visitors, yet all they just wanted to do is flush the toilet.
- Inability to decide which used beyond a mere standard flush
This has attracted the attention of the Japan Restroom Industry Association as well. A set of many features including those on the lid and seat control have been agreed upon by domestic toilet the top nine giant manufacturers like Toshiba, Panasonic, and Toto among others. They came to an agreement to make the incons a standard.
This symbol changes also includes those available in ‘washlet’ for;
Air drying functionality icons
The flush strength,
Even for front back bidets, among many others.
Ultimately, we expect that these new set of standard pictograms will make it easier for non-Japanese people to adapt to their use easily. These new symbols are to begin going into use as of this year, according to the Japan Sanitary Equipment Industry Association.
To further create more awareness on the new changes, the Japanese Restroom Association has dispatched a press release where the standardization of the identified complex and contradicting signs have been adjusted to more familiar iconic easy identification. It is famed for the ‘clean toilet culture’ for all people across the globe.
Toilets affected include the so-called ‘washlet’ which normally come with many options in Japanese toilets. To go a notch higher, the top nine manufacturers have also come up with functions that assist in controlling the heating and air conditioning for the restrooms, having some under lighting systems for night use and that relaxing music.
Some Japanese high-end toilet units will also have bidet sprays that can vibrate or pulse gently for those suffering from hemorrhoids. It is also an automatic air deodorizing. There has been a very positive response to the high-tech icons standardization, with some calling it one of the most exciting technological breakthroughs ever to emerge out of Japan in recent memory.
These changes are some of the measures that Japan is embracing to facilitate a more comprehensive accommodation of tourists as it gears towards hosting the major international events. As a result, it will continue to retain Japan’s recognition for its elaborate high-tech toilets.
We expect that the standardization of these high-tech toilet icons will help these products to become more usable and popular abroad, offering hospitality to foreigners leaving with them the very memory that Japan is the ultimate destination that welcomes tourists warmly. The pictograms are just but the start of modernizing these high-tech toilets.