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Japan’s loos get even stranger with smartphone toilet paper

Japanese toilets have no chill – they’re either literal holes in the ground or they’ll sing to you, wash you and give you a quick blow dry afterwards. Now, Japan is taking their weird WCs to a whole new level, with loo-roll for your smartphones.

According to Mainichi Shinbun, the arrivals hall bathrooms at Tokyo’s Narita Airport has installed rolls of paper for cleaning smartphone screens, sitting beside the dispensers for regular dunny roll.

Research has found that smartphone screens carry more bacteria than toilet seats, so this paper is designed to wipe off your smartphone – which ties in with Japan’s reputation for ultra-hygienic public facilities, as well as its technological authority.

However, they serve a double purpose.

The dispensers, which were paid for by Japanese cell phone company NTT Docomo Inc, are a response to a survey from Japan Tourism Agency which found that foreign tourists had trouble with finding and using WiFi.

To help with this, the sheets of paper are printed with instructions on how to connect to WiFi and download a travel guide app.

To accompany the smartphone paper, Docomo also released an instructional video on how to use a toilet.

We assume it’s tongue in cheek, but with Japan it’s always hard to tell…

Of course, nifty additions to the receptacles in Japan are nothing new.

Seats are usually heated, to avoid the terrible experience of cold porcelain, most offer the option of a button that makes the sound of loud flushing to hide the sound of peeing, almost all of them have a bidet function (in hot or cold water), and some play tunes when you’re finished.

Newer models even offer a deodorising function, which claims to kill bathroom smells, and some super-smart options automatically raise or lower the seat to, er, suit the situation.

Either that or you’re stuck with a hole in ground.

Hole in the ground toilet

About the author

Hannah loves to travel but can’t read a map, so she has plenty of good stories to tell.

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