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Japanese Toilets
Older toilets
More Traditional Toilets in Japan

The traditional toilets that are still common throughout Japan are a narrow bowl in the ground (not shown above) that you can straddle and crouch over when doing your thing. This style is also common throughout Asia, it makes sense since the Japanese didn't usually use chairs a lot in homes traditionally either. It can be strange and awkward to westerns trying to keep their balance, maintain the squat position, and keep things on target, but here is a little animation to go over the basics.

Beyond the basic concept, these toilets have some creative features. The flusher has two directions to allow for a small flush or a big flush to help conserve water. Amazing how this simple concept hasn't been figured out in the west. Another interesting thing is that the new water that flows into the bowl for the next flush does so through a small faucet, allowing people to wash their hands with this clean water that will later be reused on the next flush. Similarly some decorations with fragrances can be placed in this area to keep the bathroom smelling fresh.