A Traveler’s Reflection: Amazing Toilets on the Road

Many years ago, I traveled through Japan — and one of my most vivid memories from that trip is was the toilets. In the middle of one January night, I got up, needing to go down the hall. The rocks in the Zen garden were covered by snow. There was no central heating. I could see my breath. A kimono had been put out for my trip to the bathroom, but it was comically small, and my slippers ended at the start of my heels. Shivering as I shuffled, I made my way to the shared bathroom of my ryokan. Pulling down my pants, I sat slowly…dreading the chill of the seat. It was heated — one of the most delightful surprises I’ve experienced over a lifetime of travels, the memory of which I still cherish. And before I made any noise, a playful trickle of water played a soundtrack designed to mask any noise I might make. There’s nothing like traveling in Japan.

That was a long time ago. Just last week, staying in a five-star Asian-themed hotel in Boston, I enjoyed another amazing toilet. It knew when I was coming, welcomed me warmly, and provided a trickling soundtrack. Delightful déjà vu.

Are you comfortable sharing your toilet-on-the-road story with me? If so, it’s your turn.