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Using the Squat Toilet 2006/8/7 19:15
This is a rather embarrassing question, and I've read lots of guides on using Japanese squat toilets but can not find the answer.

For women when urinating, is it possible to use the squat toilet by just pulling down one's lower garments or do these need to be completely removed?

I'm sure it must be possible without needing to take everything off, but I haven't used one before and am not quite sure how it works. I also heard that squat toilets are the reason that so many Japanese women wear skirts.

I have heard of nervous foreigners stripping completely from the waist before using the squat toilet to eliminate the change of having an accident.

Is it hard to uh, get the hang of using the squat toilets?
by Merl  

.. 2006/8/8 02:30
No ones undergarments do not need to be fully removed, you can if you feel confortable, if you look at the position of the squat position the undergarmets should be down and around your ankle area so it should be "clear" in the squat position.
by .. rate this post as useful

above or near the knee 2006/8/8 04:52
Merl, I understand your feelings completely! Don't worry, you WILL get the hang of it quickly. The first time I saw a squat toilet, I was traumatized... I walked around the bathroom looking for a Western-style toilet but couldn't find one, so I was force to use the squat. I had no idea where the "stream" would go, how to arrange my clothing so that it wouldn't get wet, etc. After a few tries though, it became like second nature to me, and now I think I actually prefer squat toilets over Western toilets.

I actually don't pull my undergarments and pants all the way down to my ankles. I pull them down so that they're down around my knees, or maybe even a little above my knees. Then I squat above the toilet, facing the flush handle. Be sure to squat all the way down and be relaxed. As I'm going, I often make sure to kind of lift up my undergarments and pants so that they're as far away from the stream as possible. After you're done, you can just wipe and flush like normal.

Sorry if this post is a bit graphic... I hope it helps!
by Diana rate this post as useful

try this! 2006/8/8 08:10
Disabled toilets are always Western style, as is usually the last toilet in a row of cubicles!
I went to Japan 4 times before I just absolutely HAD to use a squat toilet.
by traveller rate this post as useful

At knees; also bring tissue, small towel 2006/8/9 10:00
I agree with Diana, pulling down your clothing to at or slightly above the knees works best. In newer buildings and in urban areas, you can usually find a western-style toilet. If there are multiple stalls, there is often at least one western-style toilet. We even had a western-style toilet when we stayed overnight at a Buddhist Temple! Occasionally there is no toilet paper, so carry a small pack of tissue. Also, there are almost never paper towels or air dryers after you wash your hands. Most Japanese women carry a small towel (washcloth-sized) to dry their hands, and I highly recommend that you do the same.
by Sue rate this post as useful

handkerchiefs 2006/8/9 10:42
Actually, what Japanese people carry are "handkerchiefs". I know that very few people in other countries carry them today, but you'll see them sold everywhere in Japan. Choose your favorite design.

I think it would work nicely if you sort of snap your clothing behind your knees as you squat.

As mentioned, most public toilets have western style pots combined, and most modern housing uses western style, but in some restaurants and bars there is only one toilet and that toilet is sometimes squat type. I used to noticed the same thing in France.
by Uco rate this post as useful

.. 2006/8/9 11:07
Near the knees is definitely best. If wearing pants/ trousers and using a train station or other well-used public Japanese-style toilet, I roll up the trouser legs a bit so they don't end up dragging on the ground around the toilet, which can get a bit wet and not very nice unfortunately.
by Sira rate this post as useful

carry rubber bands are good for western 2006/8/9 14:08
You can also carry rubber bands to put around your ankle from the top of your trousers or big long skirts to avoid them from touching the floor. I find this more convenient on western style toilets since you can't "clip" them with your knees when using western.

I think I used to have bands that were sold especially for this purpose as well as for avoiding your sleaves from gettin wet when washing the dishes, but any rubber band will do. Hair bands are ideal.
by Uco rate this post as useful

O.o 2006/8/10 00:34
Did you never ever in your life get caught short and have to go behind a bush?!

Exactly the same technique!
by O.o rate this post as useful

No pants 2006/8/31 09:33
I prefer to take my pants right off when using Japanese style toilets. Last time I was in Japan it was Winter and I left my jeans on but in Summer when wearing shorts I prefer to take them right off. Remember man invented the western style toilet. The squat style is what Adam and Eve would have used.
by Glen rate this post as useful

Japanese V French 2006/9/2 07:06
Where do you put your underthings and shorts? Do you just hold them in one hand? Wouldn't that make getting the paper tricky?

As a rather stiff 50+ I found the squat toilets easy to use and cleaner than western style.

Keeping trouser legs off the ground needs to be thought about, but Japanese toilets are much easier to manage than French ones. The design works much better.(French ones have raised foot prints in a square base,you need to have the door ready to open before you flush as the whole area is washed and this can over flow the foot prints.)
by Apples rate this post as useful

Anything to hang onto or read? 2006/9/3 23:17
Isn't there some kind of barrister or hand rail to hold onto axxixed to the side wall or in front? If not, how DOES one maintain balance?

Also, how many books, magazines, catalogues, newspapers and professional journals can one read whilst being sequestered in a Japanese toilet? Can you operate your laptop using one?
by Toilet Educated rate this post as useful

how to use toilet 2006/9/4 01:14
This is nice anime showing how to use Japanese style toilet.
by Liz rate this post as useful

Avoid pantyhose! 2006/10/17 19:09
One thing I always recommend is if you do wear a shirt, avoid pantyhose & wear elastic top stockings. You can learn to squat while wearing pants & while wearing skirts but hose will get you every time.
by TRCunning rate this post as useful

try the "Urinelle" funnels! 2006/10/18 08:35
I had a very hard time in Japan w/squat toilets on my first trip. Let's just say it was messy and leve it at that. But then I found these things called "Urinelles". They are funnel-shaped little light cardboard funnels that a woman pees into and it directs the stream into the squat toilet = no mess and no splashing all over. Great idea, and I used them a lot on my 2nd trip.

see here:

by Eileen rate this post as useful

Heh 2006/10/18 10:51
I couldn't resist. This is why I love being a man lol. Sorry, I am a man and I had to use the squat toilets in Kazaksthan and in the Budapest market. I would suggest making sure your hips are below your knees a little so your legs are NOT perpendicular to the ground.

Some bathrooms will have handrails... But if you ever go to Kazaksthan... Watch out.
by Mack rate this post as useful

Avoid pantyhose? 2006/10/18 18:21
According to my experiences, it's hard to believe that pantyhose "gets you everytime" while panties don't, but it's just my opinion.
by Uco rate this post as useful

mixed experience 2006/11/8 01:51
I was in Japan for 2 weeks...and most of the time was able find a Western-style toilet. As mentioned, any stall designated for handicapped access will likely have a Western-style toilet, and also there are often separate single-room toilets for moms with kids and diaper changing...these also often have Western-style toilets.

On the few occasions where I had to use the squat toilet, it was manageable for me as a middle-aged, large, and not particularly flexible person. There is usually a grab rail.

That said, I only used them for #1, and I am glad I did not need to use them for #2 at any point in my stay, as I'm not at all confident that I would have been able to do so gracefully.
by Karen E rate this post as useful

ah the squat toilet 2006/11/8 17:47
I've been in Japan for over three months and have only been forced to use a squat toilet once (I'm a guy so this means #2).

It was awkward as all hell and I was afraid I would miss or something, but if you just kind of relax and figure out the most comfortable position it's really not all that bad. I know most foreigners here are deathly afraid of these things, but do it once and you'll realize its not so bad if you're ever forced to use one. Just pull your clothes past or around your knees, make sure the path is clear, and its all good.
by Pat rate this post as useful

German toilet (WC) 2006/12/10 07:44
The Germans have what I call a 'flushing chamber pot.' It is a shallow bowl with no more than a puddle of water in it. The flush wash down is from the back of the bowl toward the front, then over into the trap/drain. Better not be still on it or standing in front of it when you flush, especially if it's a public one with the super-blast flush!!!
And, since there's no water seal (deep water to submerge solids and reduce odors) it STINKS up the whole bathroom when you use the thing.
This may be similar to the French one mentioned above.
by Bob White rate this post as useful

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