It may sound a little bizarre but the Japanese toilet phenomenon represents the entire Japanese culture.
It is clean, neat and high-tech with full automation.
There are a number of functions such as seat heating, bottom shower jet and massage with warm water, bidet, bottom dryer after the shower, LED light in the toilet bowl, ordor-masking for standard toilets. The lid automatically opens with the sensor and it flushes the toilet without touching anywhere when you leave the toilet seat.
(Above: the computerised control panel on the wall)
http://panasonic.net/products/beauty_healthcare/) has joined two sanitary ware giants, Toto Ltd. (http://www.toto.co.jp/en/index.htm ) and Inax -Lixil Co. (http://global.lixil.co.jp/) and it has been very successful.
For top-end functions, there are 'equipped with a music system, including original Toto tunes, and an "auto fragrance" function that offers a selection of four scents, including floral and citrus.'
At the peak of the toilet legend, there were toilets embedded MP3 player for you to listen to your favourite music in the toilet.
It may be the cultural taboo for western countries to talk about toilets but the Japanese toilet rooted deeply in Japanese culture and people.
The toilet is a space for the privacy where Japanese people, often men, read newspaper, surf the Internet, and make calls on mobile. As a consequence, the place has to be hygienic.
The Japanese toilet culture has extended to the creation of the Japan Toilet Association, National Toilet Day, Toilet Museum, and even the Golden Toilet made by Inax Corporation displayed at Japan Pavilion at Shanghai Expo 2010.
A pop song, The Toilet God ('toire no kamisama) even became one of the 2010's best sellers and there are a number of gadgets related to the toilet.
When you open the door and the lid opens automatically, you would feel you are welcome to the private relaxing space.
Just a reminder, please change your room slippers to the toilet slippers when you walk in the toilet and never come out the toilet with toilet slippers!
It is again ... cultural :-))