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Public bathrooms in Japan-how easy to find? Cleanliness?

Public bathrooms in Japan-how easy to find? Cleanliness?

Old Nov 27, 14, 9:47 am
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Public bathrooms in Japan-how easy to find? Cleanliness?

I was especially interested in the areas around shinjuku station in Tokyo as well as other station through out Japan.
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Old Nov 27, 14, 10:55 am
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I can't tell you about the men's rooms, but the women's rooms in train stations are pretty basic with mostly Japanese-style toilets and anybody's guess as to whether they will have soap and paper towels. (I always carry a packet of tissues and a small bottle of hand sanitizer, just to be safe.) Cleanliness in the train stations is unpredictable, usually not the best.

If you are out and around in public, your best bets are the toilets in department stores, unless you can wait until your next meal or snack stop, in which case you can use the toilets that most free-standing bars and restaurants have.
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Old Nov 27, 14, 10:58 am
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From your handle I will assume you are a male.

My experiences as a female in these areas are irrelevant to those you can expect.

With the exceptions of a couple of unisex facilities I have had the misfortune of needing to use (having visited Tokyo whilst pregnant, my familiarity with public toilets is considerable), the Ladies' services are all impeccable. One only needs to take a supply of toilet paper/tissues. I would also suggest portable soap or soap leaves as neither soap nor paper are supplied at the majority of station rest rooms.
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Old Nov 27, 14, 10:59 am
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Posted in error
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Old Nov 27, 14, 11:48 am
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You won't have a problem finding public bathrooms in Japan..seem to be all over the place. Every train station, parks, etc or places tourists go.
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Old Nov 27, 14, 11:53 am
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However, it's not always easy to find western toilets, including at some upscale traditional restaurants and tea places.
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Old Nov 27, 14, 12:37 pm
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You will almost always find hand washing facilities - sink, water, probably soap. What you might want to carry with you is a handkerchief. Not all public restrooms will have towels, paper or otherwise. I usually carry a mini-bottle of hand sanitizer as well, just in case. I have never not found toilet tissue but usually have a couple of Kleenex in my pocket for allergies so wouldn't get caught out anyway.

The biggest problem for older, more arthritic folks like me is the floor-level, Japanese-style toilets. Most modern facilities like department stores, larger train stations and hotels will have western style toilets. Older places, maybe not. Plan accordingly.
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Old Nov 27, 14, 4:54 pm
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In Shijuku area, or pretty much entire metropolitan Tokyo area you will have no problem finding public bathrooms.

As for cleanliness, it all depends on each personal preference and view. For me I have not encountered public bathrooms in Japan where I could not use it because of cleanliness. I have seen far worse public bathrooms in the U.S. However, I been with few people who mentioned that they rather not use specific bathroom due to cleanliness.

Western style toilet has become very common in public bathrooms in Japan, but still it is possible to encounter Japanese style toilet, the toilet in on the floor level and use by squatting.

I used to carry handkerchief or small hand size towel when in Japan, because pretty much most bathrooms in Japan have sinks with running water to wash hand but do not have paper towels to dry hands. However, these days I see air drying machine to dry hands in Japanese public bathrooms.

Talk about Japanese public bathrooms… I do not know about ladies rooms, but in men’s room in Japan I see far often that guys leave bathrooms without washing hands…

There is some benefit in keeping greeting by bow down rather than handshake in Japan…
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Old Nov 27, 14, 5:38 pm
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Thank you. This is helpful. I had forgotten about the floor level toilets.
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Old Nov 27, 14, 8:55 pm
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In a country filled with clean public toilets, train station toilets usually leave much to be desired. Not that they're dirty (some are) but the general atmosphere. Any sort of park with a public toilet is the same - not clean at all.

Most convenience stores have toilets, and those are usually quite clean.
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Old Nov 28, 14, 4:55 am
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Very clean.

Most have both types of toilets available. If not, go to the handicap toilet, it is always sit down type.

Having lived in many countries, China and Taiwan included. Japan's washrooms are a godsend and impeccable. Japan's worst washroom is still pretty good in comparison to some of the "washrooms" (try hole in the ground, no stall doors) I've had to use.

Most today have toilet paper however I have noticed that outdoor lavatories do not necessarily have toilet paper available so bring your own if you are going to use remote toilets.

All convenience stores, department stores, government buildings, hotels, gas stations have great bathrooms.
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Old Nov 28, 14, 6:23 am
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If you want to use the toilet in a convenience store, gas station, or government building, it is considered good manners to ask permission: "Toire kashite kudasai" should suffice.

I had an interesting discussion with some colleagues in a government building about folks who came in and used the lavatory without so much as a "please" or "thank you". Needless to say, my colleagues were not impressed with my observation that we (the public servants) ought to be asking the tax payers for permission to use the facilities and not the other way around.
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Old Nov 28, 14, 8:59 am
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i consider myself to be an expert on public toilets. the toilets throughout japan are the cleanest i have ever come across. there is also a large number of them, and they are well marked. the lavatories on planes are also extremely clean………just about everything in japan is extremely clean.
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Old Nov 28, 14, 6:44 pm
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Especially around the Shinjuku area, if you want really nice, many of the top department stores (of which there are plenty around Shinjuku Station) offer some really nice toilet facilities. On the western side of Tokyo, pop into many of the larger office building complexes and hotels have toilets as well in the lobby etc areas as well.
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Old Nov 29, 14, 7:13 am
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Great. I should be OK then.
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