One of the mildly disconcerting surprises awaiting the foreign visitor to Japan is the sheer abundance and creativity of its toilet facilities, public and otherwise.

Elsewhere in the world, going into a public restroom could mean unwitting encounters with dirt, filth and danger. At the very least it may imply an interminable wait followed by, for women anyway, fighting for a spot in front of the mirror.

This isn't to say that the Japanese toire (トイレ, restroom) is perfect. But still, you can expect a certain standard of cleanliness and tsukaiyasusa (使いやすさ, accessibility) in most nooks and crannies of the archipelago.