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Media information  TOTO Europe

7. Juli 2021

Japan on holiday – experience top hygiene

The entire world is looking to Japan in time for the 2021 Olympic Games. Anyone travelling to Japan will experience a bathing culture with unparalleled hygiene in most places. At the heart of this is a development still unfamiliar to many Europeans – the shower toilet or WASHLET™, as most in Japan call it.

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The 2021 Olympic Games are around the corner! Due to the current restrictions, only a few spectators will be lucky enough to travel to Tokyo for this historic event. From the moment they arrive, however, they will have the chance to experience the outstanding hygiene Japan is known for – especially in restrooms. “Toilets are a symbol of Japan’s world-renowned culture of hospitality,” explained the Nippon Foundation on their website The foundation also initiates and supports other social projects. They asked TOTO to supply the equipment for public toilets in Tokyo designed by internationally renowned architects. Travellers will also find hygienic shower toilets and other sanitary ware from TOTO on the planes flown by Japanese airlines and upon arrival at Tokyo’s Narita International Airport.

Travellers flying with a Japanese airline will have the chance to use WASHLET™ on the plane. Once they arrive at Terminal 2 in Tokyo’s Narita International Airport, they will enjoy the distinctive hygiene culture in Japan that is closely linked to TOTO – the country’s undisputed market leader of sanitary products, responsible for selling the most shower toilets around the world. If they go to the toilet, they will encounter Gallery TOTO – a inviting space spanning 145 m2 equipped with several of TOTO’s shower toilet models, called WASHLET™. Travellers will see shower toilets throughout their visit in Japan. Whether booking a hotel, travelling by train, using a public toilet or one at a cultural institution, they will find shower toilets everywhere. 

People can expect absolute cleanliness and hygiene when using the toilet in Japan. It’s necessary to change one’s shoes before entering the bathroom, for example. Thorough handwashing and leaving the space perfectly clean for the next user are just some of the commonplace aspects of everyday Japanese life. 

Advanced hygiene

“The Japanese toilet culture is as distant from ours as we are from the Middle Ages,” commented the German weekly magazine “ZEIT”, which recently explored the benefits of Japanese shower toilets – specifically WASHLET™. The author of the article isn’t the only one to be convinced: The Japanese also feel that they have the lead internationally when it comes to hygiene. This isn’t a coincidence. Omotenashi is a very prevalent term in Japan that can be translated as “hospitality” or “politeness”. But it’s not that easy to translate every aspect of this word. It includes small gestures and attention to details that might be expressed during a tea ceremony, for example. The aim is to create an atmosphere in which guests feel good and cared for. This idea of Omotenashi easily carries over to bathrooms and toilets as well.

Clean public restrooms

The principles of comfort and cleanliness also apply to public toilets in Japan. The extraordinary Nippon Foundation project, The Tokyo Toilet, could only happen in this country. Tokyo’s Shibuya neighbourhood became home to 17 different public toilets, each of which is a unique architectural work of art. These objects were designed by such high-profile architects as Shigeru Ban, Tadao Ando and Kengo Kuma. TOTO was able to contribute its products for the interior design. The guiding principle was to create toilets for everyone to use: for people with physical limitations and of all ages; for men, women, children and families – ensuring a sense of comfort and safety for all. 

The venerable Japanese company, one of the world’s leaders in the production of shower toilets, has been manufacturing WASHLET™ (name derived from the words “let’s wash”) for the past 40 years. Most Japanese homes now have shower toilets. In addition to offering warm-water intimate cleansing and a series of hygiene and comfort features, they provide an incomparable feeling of cleanliness. Today, they are on the way to becoming a more common aspect of everyday life in Europe. This is partially due to the still ongoing pandemic, which has made hygiene a stronger priority than ever before. People are also more willing to spend more money on renovations and invest in a shower toilet.

Bring a little of Japan into your bathroom

Since entering the European market 12 years ago, TOTO has introduced a wide range of shower toilets in Europe – allowing people to bring the hygiene and comfort of Japanese bathing culture into their European bathrooms.

More information

  • The new landing page offers comprehensive information about the shower toilet – and how people can quickly and easily replace their existing toilets.
  • Oases of cleanliness, quiet and relaxation: Check out this video on “The Tokyo Toilet:
  • WASHLET™ as an integral part of Japanese bathing culture
  • More about the Nippon Foundation’s project:
  • Recommended for anyone who would like to learn more about Japan and the hygiene technologies in WASHLET™: the “Hygiene Plus” mini-series and “Japan Facts” on TOTO’s Facebook page:
  • Marie Kawaii, a Japanese blogger living in the United States, talks about Japanese bathrooms “(...) and why they are next level amazing (...)”: There are so many amenities that help people feel clean and safe in public restrooms, for example: shower toilets, seats for babies and children, fully accessible washbasins – and many other things that people outside of Japan can only imagine:


Düsseldorf, July 2021
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About TOTO Europe

TOTO, one of the world’s leading sanitary ware companies, has an unwavering focus on people and their well-being. Established in Kitakyushu, Japan in 1917, TOTO has been developing, producing and marketing its comprehensive high-end bathroom concepts for the European market since 2009. The company aims to create a new attitude towards life through regeneration, comfort and hygiene, integrating technologies into their product designs in a smart, nearly invisible way. Japan’s leading manufacturer in the sector, TOTO offers a comprehensive range of products including ceramic sanitary ware, faucets and accessories. In 2020, the company looked back on 40 years of developing and manufacturing its renowned WASHLET™. TOTO supports the development of a fully emission-free society and is very committed to sustainability: By joining the RE100 initiative, TOTO Group will convert all of its facilities to power from sustainable energy sources by the year 2040. The company also received certification from the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBT) to reduce greenhouse gases in line with the Paris Agreement, and to systematically cut CO2 emissions further on this basis. TOTO employs 30,000 people world-wide.

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