Taking a poo.
No matter where we are from, it is an activity that we all participate in on a (hopefully) regular basis.
Countries around the world all have a solution to your needs when it comes to expelling your digestive waste, and in Japan you face an impressive variety of porcelain.
Squat toilets are quite common in Japan's public spaces (restaurants, malls, cat cafes, etc.), and are far less exciting than the “fancy toilets” Japan is famous for.
Even though I spent the past five months pooping out in the woods, there was some satisfaction to be found in digging a hole, aiming, and burying your lincoln logs. Squatting over a ceramic bowl in the ground lacks a certain aesthetic offered by the outdoors.
Regardless, there are a few rules you need to keep in mind when using a squat toilet: 1) make sure you are facing towards the plumbing, and 2) make sure to keep your feet flat on the ground. Oh, and 3) under no circumstances should you stand up prior to wiping your crevasse. Doing so will result in an even messier cleanup (you barbarian).
I am still unsure as to whether or not the intended use of a squat toilet during male urination involves squatting or just arcing an incredibly long stream into a hole in the ground, but I prefer the latter (far quicker and convenient).
Not To Squat
Despite the prevalence of squat toilets, usually there will be a “western style” toilet available as well (although Japan is not the most handicap friendly country).
Should you be lucky enough to find a “fancy toilet” (which are actually very common – they are in 7-11s just to give you some perspective), get ready to have some fun.
Upon sitting down you will be pleased to find that the seat is warmed for your enjoyment (and no, it is not simply residual warmth from the pooer before you). And what's this? A panel of buttons? Yes, press them. Press them all.
Do you want your toilet to make flushing noises (to hide your uncontrollable flatulence)? Do you want to spray your bum with a stream of water (with adjustable pressure)? Stunk the place up and want to employ the “power deodorizer”? These toilets have it all.
Don't even “the urge”? Just grab a magazine and plop down on the warm throne of your local convenience store for a quick break. Trust me, you'll enjoy it.