Kyoto uses toilet etiquette signs in bid to flush out bad behaviour

1st of September 2015
Kyoto uses toilet etiquette signs in bid to flush out bad behaviour

Japan has gone to great lengths to welcome foreign visitors but for the locals of Kyoto - one of the most popular destinations - there has been a rather unwelcome side effect - stinking public toilets.

"We have seen an increasing number of people from overseas misuse our toilets based on their own cultural norms," said Chikashi Ono, an official at the city of Kyoto who is in charge of hygiene, adding that it is due to intercultural differences.

For example, some visitors who don't know how to use Japanese squat-style toilets mistakenly squat facing backward over the hood, leaving excrement on the toilet.

And visitors from countries where toilet paper is usually thrown away in a nearby trash can aren't aware that they are supposed to flush it down the toilet, leading to unpleasant smells.To prevent such incidents the city of Kyoto authorities put up signs at the end of June to show visitors how to use public lavatories in Japan.

The signs, which give explanations in Japanese, English, Korean and Chinese, include instructions on how to use squat toilets and how to activate toilet flush sensors.

"We hope these stickers help people understand the proper way to use bathrooms," Ono said.

Thanks to the signs, unpleasant incidents have significantly decreased, he added.



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