Instructions for Foreign Tourists for Flushing Toilet PaperKyoto City Prepare Quadrilingual Stickers21 July 2015 - Local topics
In response to the increasing number of foreign tourists, who use restrooms according to the lifestyle habits of their own countries, Kyoto City Government has prepared stickers for understanding the correct way to use restrooms in Japan. The stickers have been prepared for using both Japanese and western-style toilets, with many illustrations for understanding with just a glance. They will be placed mainly in public restrooms in the city's tourist areas.
According to the city government, some tourists from Asia, Europe and America throw away used toilet paper in the trash bin instead of flushing it, and in other cases squat backwards over a Japanese-style toilet bowl to relieve themselves. Still others squat over a western-style toilet rather than sitting on it during use. Those behaviors make it difficult for the next person to use the toilet, and also make cleaning troublesome.
Six types of A-4 sized stickers have been prepared for use with Japanese or western-style toilets of any flushing method. Using both illustrations and words, they contrast correct and incorrect ways of using the toilet, and provide directions to not put toilet paper in the trash bin but to flush it down the toilet. They also explain whether users should push the lever down or press the button to flush the toilet.
The stickers are in Japanese, English, Korean and Chinese. They will be placed at 65 locations, including public restrooms in the city.
The stickers can be downloaded from the city government's website. Use of the stickers will be promoted among private facilities in the city such as temples, shrines, universities etc. and citizens who open their toilets to the public as "tourist toilets," as well as to restaurants and other places frequented by foreign tourists via the Kyoto City Tourism Association.
Although stickers were also created in 2013 to promote proper toilet use, they were mainly written directions, and incorrect usage continued even after sticker placement. Therefore, the new stickers were prepared.
According to the city government, the number of overnight foreign visitors in 2014 was a record-high of 1,830,000, an increase of 700,000 over the previous year. The highest number of visitors was 496,100 from Taiwan, followed by 242,100 from China, and 173,900 from the United States.
The city section in charge of promoting the city's beautification said, "We would like to increase the number of people who understand the proper way of using the Japanese restrooms so that everyone can use them comfortably."(translated by Galileo, Inc.)