Toilets can be a nightmare for women when travelling abroad. Ideally what one needs is a normal pedestal toilet so you can sit comfortably. You also need a supply of toilet paper and somewhere to wash and dry your hands. In France you get used to carrying a supply of loo paper with you as they often don’t supply it. In some countries the best you get is a porcelain tray on the ground with hole in the middle – no problem if you are agile and able to squat whilst holding your trousers up around your knees without falling over. A professional gymnast could just about manage.
In Japan there are plenty of lovely clean toilets wherever you go, in restaurants and supermarkets and there public toilets in every town centre, all spotlessly clean and with proper hand washing facilities. The tradition in Japan was to remove your shoes when you entered the Ladies and put on the “toilet slippers” provided, leaving your shoes at the door. In practice, everyone else seemed to use the loo wearing their outdoor shoes, so I did the same. So far, every toilet had provided at least one cubicle with a pedestal but there was always a feeling of panic as I checked the contents of each cubicle to see what was on offer.
One supermarket had a kind of pissoir in the area before you reached the cubicles – definitely not for me.
Then I checked the cubicles one at a time and was beginning to panic when I saw the toilet.
To my relief (both meanings) the third and last cubicle had a pedestal toilet.
Many of the toilets in restaurants and hotels – and in the Lake House where we were staying – had heated toilet seats and I was surprised how pleasant and relaxing it was to sit down on a warm seat.