In a video on the Life Where I’m From YouTube channel, a school-aged girl named Aiko takes you through everything about the bathroom in her home in Japan. It turns out, they are a lot of differences that make a lot of sense — so many, in fact, she doesn’t even mention the toilet itself, except to say that it has its only little sink in the back of the tank for extra convenience.
First of all, the bathroom is a bit like three mini-rooms combined. Each section has a door, so there’s privacy for every person who’s occupying a different space. The bathing area is separate from the toilet, which is also separate from the sink. The faucet is actually a spray arm, so you can remove it and adjust its height, making it a little more functional than an American sink.
The bathing area also has a sprayer, because you’re meant to get clean before you hop in the tub. There’s a drain on the floor, so you can make a mess showering off beforehand, but the tub is really meant for soaking. A control panel can send out a distress signal to the rest of the house, and lets you keep the water hot for as long as you want — but you don’t send it down the drain once you’re done. Family members share the bathwater (you’re supposed to be clean before you get in, after all), and then they run a hose from the washing machine to suck up what’s left. The bathwater cleans the clothes, and the bathing area also has a special setting to dry them.
Even with all the partitions, it still probably gets a little crowded on laundry day.
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