Western toilet style vastly preferred


This survey into toilets is rather interesting, and a bit surprising that nearly half the Japanese men have at least occasionally felt the urge to go whilst travelling to work.

One interesting result from the stand or sit debate is that Kyushu men, who have the stereotype of being very masculine and uncompromising, were to type here, with over 50% making a stand for a man’s right to stand.

I’m a bit funny when it comes to public toilets; I’ll only use department store ones if I need a poo, but I can very easily be turned off by simple things like some cling-ons left on the bowl or just a funny smell, and no toilet seat cover makes me feel very uncomfortable for some weird reason!

Here’s an advert for getting caught short in the train – geri-portation is a terrible pun on geri, the runs, and teleportation:

Research results

Q1: Which do you prefer, western sitting or Japanese squat toilets? (Sample size=2,813)

Japanese style3.1%5.8%
Western style86.6%78.2%
Either is fine10.0%13.9%

Q2: Do you sit or stand for a pee? (Sample size=men from 2,813)

Depends if at home or outside, etc42.5%
Usually stand41.5%
Usually sit12.1%
No pattern4.9%

Q3: When you are out and need to go, where do you go? (Sample size=2,813, multiple answer)

Supermarket, department store65.9%76.7%
Train station62.3%47.8%
Convenience store60.0%42.6%
Library, city hall41.9%48.4%
Public toilets on street, in park, etc47.2%8.3%
Pachinko parlour26.1%7.3%
Office building17.8%16.2%
Petrol station19.0%6.4%
Bus terminal14.8%8.3%
Cafe, restaurant, etc9.9%18.9%
Theatre, cinema5.4%10.0%
Nowhere in particular4.1%1.5%

Q4: When commuting to work or school, have you ever had an urgent need to visit the toilet? (Sample size=2,813)

Yes, often4.9%3.1%
Yes, sometimes40.9%25.4%
No, almost never42.0%45.3%
No, never10.8%23.1%
Don’t know1.5%3.1%

Q5: If you go to the toilet but all the cubicles are occupied, what do you do? (Sample size=2,813, multiple answer)

Don’t wait and head for another facility, floor71.4%67.8%
Knock the door32.8%44.3%
Leave and come back a little later27.4%15.6%
Ask “Is anyone inside?”8.4%11.9%
Pace up and down in front of the cubicles4.8%2.1%
Talk to the other people waiting1.4%6.4%
Mutter to myself “They’re all occupied”1.3%1.0%
Call shop staff, guard1.0%1.2%
Call the police0.2%0.0%

Q6: What problems have you had with public toilets? (Sample size=2,813, multiple answer)

Floor, seat is dirty67.7%71.9%
No toilet paper45.6%51.1%
Nowhere to put bags in cubicles42.9%61.7%
Too small cubicles32.2%43.5%
Too few cubicles30.7%38.0%
No coat hook in cubicle28.7%28.1%
Difficult to lock cubicle door24.0%43.7%
Flush is too weak22.5%40.5%
Difficult to find flush button21.1%34.1%
Difficult to use toilet paper13.4%28.3%
Can be easily heard outside5.0%19.1%
Wash hand basin water is too strong, too weak6.1%11.8%

Q7: What are the features of a good toilet? (Sample size=2,813, multiple answer)

Hygienic features (seat covers, wipers, etc)54.7%59.7%
Lots of cubicles, urinals47.4%56.8%
Sufficient space to place bags, etc45.2%65.7%
Lots of Western toilets45.2%47.2%
Spacious cubicles43.0%52.2%
Functional toilets (bidet functions, etc)47.2%27.7%
Sufficient stock of toilet paper, etc36.7%49.5%
Many, spacious wash hand basins24.6%41.0%
Safety features (CCTV, etc)15.4%28.7%
Multi-purpose (disabled, etc) toilets13.3%20.8%
Easy for children to use5.1%5.8%
Nothing in particular2.2%0.8%


Between the 19th and 25th of May 2017 2,813 members of the Nifty monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. No further demographics were provided.

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