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Holiday, Vacation & Tour

 

Gossip For Tourists In Japan – Toto Toilets And The Sound Princess

In a country known for innovative technology, are we really justified in being surprised that they have the most advanced public toilets as well? Concentrating on comfort, cleanliness and even attempting to ease embarrassment, Japanese toilets are far beyond what most expect, though for anyone living there, these should be fast becoming the norm.

Of course we won’t go into the health befits of the squat toilets from yesteryears that are still common here, but are really no...

hotels in Japan, Japan hotels

In a country known for innovative technology, are we really justified in being surprised that they have the most advanced public toilets as well? Concentrating on comfort, cleanliness and even attempting to ease embarrassment, Japanese toilets are far beyond what most expect, though for anyone living there, these should be fast becoming the norm.

Of course we won’t go into the health befits of the squat toilets from yesteryears that are still common here, but are really not as innovative as you’d hope from the Japanese. Those you’d find in other Asian countries as well, mostly in villages though.

When it comes to a bit of innovation, it starts here by eliminating embarrassment. Talk about the discomfort of knowing someone is in a stall next to you and can actually hear you making some funny sounds; funny to them but embarrassing for you. Japanese tech people have remedied this by creating a device commonly referred to as a ‘Sound Princess’. Found in almost all of the newer public restrooms, the device, when turned on, literally sounds like a flushing toilet, drowning out any other sound that might be made when using the facilities. This ensures that even the shyest of people can relax, knowing no one can hear them.

What Japan really has to offer in modern toilets industry, if you want to call it that, are the washlets that have a variety of features to please everyone (…yes, we are still talking toilets). The control panel for the Washlet might remind you of something you might see in a spaceship; these toilets may look ordinary, but are anything but normal.

A common feature on each is a bidet, which can be combined with toilet paper, or used on its own to wash anything and everything. Most have two nozzles, with adjustable water pressure to each area, gently cleansing without being uncomfortable. Many Washlets have built in dryers, making toilet paper unnecessary. Comfort doesn't stop here though, with heaters attached, cold seats are a thing of the past. Some models even have automated lid opening, closing and flushing, catering to males and females with the push of a button.

Making those unavoidable trips to the loo is never welcomed by anyone, but Japanese have made the whole thing an experience worth trying. The only main problem that most tourists face in these toilets is the language barrier. The control panels have Japanese instructions and once seated getting up can become tricky. There is no question though that these toilets are catching up in the rest of the world as well, even the hi-tech man in black, Will Smith, when building his house got the Japanese to supply his toilets.

 

Planning To Holiday, Vacation & Tour In Japan?

Visiting Japan can be like transporting yourself to another world. Life revolves around ancient traditions and the beauty of nature.

Nagasaki

Be sure to visit the Spectacle bridge near Nagasaki. This gorgeous ancient stone bridge resembles a pair of glasses when viewed with the reflection of water flowing under the bridge and is a popular tourist stop. Visiting the beautiful red and yellow shrine known as Confucius Shrine and Museum of Natural History near Nagasaki can...

Visiting Japan can be like transporting yourself to another world. Life revolves around ancient traditions and the beauty of nature.

Nagasaki

Be sure to visit the Spectacle bridge near Nagasaki. This gorgeous ancient stone bridge resembles a pair of glasses when viewed with the reflection of water flowing under the bridge and is a popular tourist stop. Visiting the beautiful red and yellow shrine known as Confucius Shrine and Museum of Natural History near Nagasaki can provide you with glimpses of Chinese treasures on loan form Beijing. Chinatown dates back to the seventeenth century and can be a haven for food lovers visiting Japan. Dejima is an artificial island once used to confine Dutch workers and now houses a museum and many historical buildings.

On August 9, 1945, an atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki. Be sure to visit the museum dedicated to this tragedy when visiting Nagasaki as well as Nagasaki Peace Park. Glover Gardens is an open air museum featuring nine western style homes including Glover Mansion. Nishizaka Hill located in Nagasaki is the site of a religious monument to the twenty six martyrs who were crucified on this spot for practicing Christianity in the 1600's.

Tokyo

Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo is an interesting tourist stop and is a sushi lovers paradise. It is the largest wholesale market in Japan. Asakusa in Tokyo is a popular neighborhood filled with shops and restaurants along with the famous Senso Temple. The East Gardens are located near the outside of the Imperial Palace and are open to the public. Yasukun jinja is the site of a large, torii gate that stands at the entrance to this shrine built in memory of those who lost their lives defending Japan. Many officials still come and offer prayer annually on August 15, anniversary of Japan's defeat in World War.

The Kabuki Theater hosts traditional Japanese Kabuki performances and is located in the Ginza district. The Edo Tokyo Museum displays artifacts and architecture depicting Tokyo's history. Exhibits include replicas of an ancient Kabuki theater and the original Edo Castle. The Hama Rikyo park is located next to Tokyo Bay and is one of the most beautiful gardens in the city. The Tokyo National Museum is a must see with the largest collection of Japanese artifacts and artworks in the world. It features over 100,000 pieces and room to display only 4,000 so exhibits are rotated constantly. The Mori Art Museum is located in Roppong Hills, is one of Asia's, largest collections of contemporary art.

Hiroshima

While visiting Hiroshima, be sure to see the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. This park commemorates the explosion of the first atomic bomb. It houses the Peace Memorial Museum. The Hiroshima Castle and the Atomic Dome are also must see sites when visiting Hiroshima.

 

Sapporo Japan - An Introduction

I don't know about you, but when I hear about Sapporo, the first thing that comes to mind is beer. I'm a long time Sushi eater and Sapporo is my beer of choice when eating. What you might have not known is that there's an actual city in Japan called Sapporo. In fact, that's where the beer comes from. Sapporo is a perfect place for making beer. The hops are excellent and it's cold.

Sapporo is the capital of Hokkaido Island—located in the West. It's the fastest growing city ...

japan, asia, travel, Holiday, Vacation & Tour, sapporo

I don't know about you, but when I hear about Sapporo, the first thing that comes to mind is beer. I'm a long time Sushi eater and Sapporo is my beer of choice when eating. What you might have not known is that there's an actual city in Japan called Sapporo. In fact, that's where the beer comes from. Sapporo is a perfect place for making beer. The hops are excellent and it's cold.

Sapporo is the capital of Hokkaido Island—located in the West. It's the fastest growing city in Japan. At last check, there were more than two million living in Sapporo. It is the 5th largest city in Japan.

When many think of Japan, they think of the over crowded life in Tokyo. Life in Sapporo is much different. First of all, the island of Hokkaido is covered with forests. Many Japanese escape to the island and Hokkaido attracts millions of visitors annually. The summer is the peak time.

Earlier I mentioned the beer they make here. Sapporo has been making beer since 1891. If you visit Sapporo, you can take a tour of the facility. It's one of those must-see attractions. There's nothing like a fresh Sapporo beer.

Sapporo is also famous for its snow festival, Yuki Matsuri. It takes place for one week each year in February. It continues to grow each year. It started out as a couple of snow sculptures and has now grown to a main event held at multiple sites. Many come for the international snow sculpture competition.

Perhaps the most interest aspect of the Yuki Matsuri is the community effort given to one giant statue each year. If you arrive in Sapporo just before the festival, you can participate in the creating of this statue. It's advised that you book your stay ahead too. More than two million tourists flood into Sapporo for the Yuki Matsuri.

Another aspect I find interesting about Sapporo, as someone that doesn't speak fluent Japanese, is the fact that the tourist information centers are English-friendly. They are always staffed with personnel that speak English well. At the International Information Corner, they have maps and information handouts in English. This makes any English-speaking traveler—that doesn't speak Japanese—at home.

Another great first stop is the Sapporo International Communications Plaza. It's just across the street from the Tokeidai Clocktower and right by City Hall. It has more literature in English, including newspapers and magazines. You are bound to meet Japanese people there who know English as well. There is so much more to talk about, but this article was meant to wet your whistle for Sapporo, Japan.




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