Duncan Bartlett discovers how, when it comes to lavatories, Japan is a step ahead of the rest of the world.
No country takes toilets quite so seriously as Japan.
Machines with heated seats, built-in bidets and a dynamic range of flushing options are almost ubiquitous in homes and public buildings.
A poem recently published by a stressed-out salary man captured their comforting appeal with haiku-like brevity. "The only warmth in my life is the toilet seat," he mourned.