I love Japanese Toilets. Really, I do.
The first time you go into a Japanese toilet, you will be stupefied. The first time I finished doing my business, I turned to face it, befuddled by all the buttons. And after three minutes of being unable to figure it out, I said out loud (and to myself!!! I swear!) "I just want to flush..."
And I am not kidding you, it flushed. On cue.
(Japanese toilets are the first step to artificial intelligence).
After a few dozen stops in the bathrooms (those things are fabulous. Consider it a Modern Museum of Art), you end up figuring the buttons. There's the normal flush button, but let's be honest. That thing can tell when you're done and will flush it for you, you're welcome. And then depending on what you want, you can wash your butt or your hoohah!!! It goes beyond a bidet!!! And you can determine if you want it soft or hard based on this uncomplicated degree of o o o o o (soft to the left, hard to the right. You probably don't want to injure yourself in some pretty private places so the second to the left or middle button should do you nicely.
And then there's what I consider the embarrassment buttons. Have you ever gone into a cubicle with someone you know and you're talking to them and then you start peeing and the sound of it is so loud, you're thinking "dear God, I hope they don't think I have a problem." The Japanese people have solved this for you. You can "mask" your tinkling sounds with the sounds of actual delightful music. Again, you're welcome.
And because, you know, number 2 smells, you can again mask real nature with a press of the deodorizer button. Thank you again, Japanese people.
There's also another wonderful thing about these toilets. After one too many bathroom spots, Francois finally said "bathroom again?!" when I excused myself. Look, okay?? We arrived in Tokyo at the cusp of winter ripening into spring, which as beautiful as my written word is, really just means rainy, freezing cold.
My secret? I was escaping into the toilets because those seats are heated. HEATED. Not only are you comfy cozy on the porcelain throne, you're WARM. Sometimes, you just need to sit on those things to warm the heck up! I will also admit to not even needing to use it but hovering my frozen hands over the toilet seat (not touching the seat!!! Mind you, that is gross and I have limits) but just trying to use it as a fireplace.
Oh, Japanese toilet. I miss you.
For someone who claims to love travel as much as I do, I'm a failure at actually finding time and the energy to actually go and do it. So a few months ago, I surprised myself by throwing planning to the wind and booking a ticket to go to Tokyo. This was the first time I've ever gone somewhere I hadn't planned to death, from researching neighborhoods, scouring guidebooks, figuring out weather conditions and memorizing exchange rates. I was right in the middle of managing my first emergency response and had no time to even think about a vacation. I'm glad I did though (and extra thankful for my amazing boyfriend, Francois!) because it turned out to be one of the best trips, if not the best trip I've ever gone on. (Tip, get a Francois of your own! He planned everything perfectly!)
If you hadn't noticed, I'm a failure at actually updating my travel blog so it's actually up to date!
Tokyo is AMAZING and even if I only spent a few days in one pretty tiny part of Japan, the whole country amazes me in its efficiency and politeness. I love the Philippines but admittedly, it is one of those crazier countries in Asia where chaos seems to rule the order (especially in traffic, traffic, and oh yes, did I mention traffic?). In contrast, Japan seems amazingly well-run, down to the second.
Our adventures in Japan started literally the second I arrived in Narita on the evening Philippine Airlines flight. It had been drummed into my head by my sister and dad about how expensive Tokyo could be so I was hyper-aware that I was a half-hour away from missing the last train to Shinjuku and thisclose to spending a bajillion bucks on a taxi. I flew through the immigration (because have I mentioned how efficient everyone is in Japan?) and sprinted to the train station and literally made it to the train with 1 minute to spare. I know because they have little monitors that show the time the train will arrive and I watched the seconds tick down, trying to catch my breath because my IQ had dropped enough so I couldn't figure out the ticket entry thingamajiggies.
Abbi is a 28 year old petite human bean, blogger, amateur photographer, permanent humanitarian, avid traveller, culture addict, giant bookworm and impossible foodie.