It is common knowledge in the Ethereal Land that the Japanese have expensiveness tastes in toilets. But I never would have guessed that it was popular in Japan to play a catholic prayer while making potty noises.
There is a hiccup, though, in this world-beating record. It happens inside the Japanese home, where energy use is surging. And nothing embodies the surge quite like the toilet — a plumbing fixture that has been reengineered here as an ultracomfy energy hog.
Japanese toilets can warm and wash one’s bottom, whisk away odors with built-in fans and play water noises that drown out potty sounds. They play relaxation music, too. “Ave Maria” is a favorite.
High-end toilets can also sense when someone enters or leaves the bathroom, raising or lowering their lids accordingly. Many models have a “learning mode,” which allows them to memorize the lavatory schedules of household members.