Domestic technology in Japan is awesome. But it has also led to a few fails during our weeks here. Take the toilet. It has a heated seat, and some kind of magical technology that automatically turns on the tap in the back when you flush. But it also has a lot of buttons, which are only labeled in Japanese. Both kids have discovered, much to their surprise, which button works the bidet. And no one is brave enough to figure out what that button with a person’s head on it does.
We also recently noticed that a number of the public toilets have a “sound” button, complete with volume control. After much discussion, Sophie and I worked up our nerve and tried it. Turns out it makes a loud running water sound, to cover any other – natural – sounds.
We also have an extremely cool washing machine. I have no idea what Ag+ technology does, but I’m quite convinced our clothes are way more awesome since we started using it.
Then there’s this panel, which allows you to see and speak to people who are trying to buzz into the building. There’s nothing particularly exiting about it. But the thing is, there are English signs all over the apartment we’re renting – Take off your shoes, Be quiet, Don’t leave trash outside. You know what’s not labeled in English? The completely innocuous button on this panel that sets off a LOUD, WAILING ALARM!