This deserves to be told. Japanese toilets are a strange breed, folks. The toilet in our apartment is pretty run of the mill, close to an American toilet. Elsewhere, however, you can find one of two toilets: The squat toilet or the electronic toilet.
The squat toilet is basically a porcelain hole in the floor. Your job is to straddle the thing and squat down, sort of like you’re peeing outside, and let ‘er go. There’s a bar you can grab onto if you need it. I haven’t personally used a squat toilet. The public restrooms we go into usually have two types of toilets and I opt for an actual stool instead of risking getting piss on my boots. HR inadvertently stumbled into one and was disgusted. Apparently everyone’s not as good with their aim and there was pee and nastiness all around the toilet. :(
As another option, you can get the electronic toilets. They’re pretty freaky because they look normal but they’re plugged in. The seats are heated. Freakishly heated. Hot. You’d think it’d be a good idea because that ceramic bowl can get pretty chilly. Still, it’s not so good because I think that heat warms up the funk. I haven’t been to a pleasant smelling bathroom here at all. Not once (with the exception of the one in our apt).
The electric toilets usually have a sensor where it flushes itself, but you can operate other kinds of flushes if you want.
There are also bidet options in case you want some of that cold toilet water sprayed up your wahoo. The funniest thing I saw though was yesterday at the Sumo tournament restroom. Each stall had a little box that played a fake flushing sound. WHY in the world would you need to simulate a flush while in the bathroom? Of course I had to press it. I pressed it twice. HR and HL said it’d be a good idea if you wanted to mask the sound of you using the bathroom, but I figure you can just flush the actual toilet right? I guess these Japanese are so into conserving water, they’d rather give you a fake flushing sound than to have you flush for real!