If you haven't been to any Asian countries yet, you may not have come across a squatty potty, but if you have been in Japan then you probably have. Here's a quick how to on squatty potties.

What is a squat toilet?

A squat toilet is often described as a hole in the ground, but it is a porcelain bowl (though not as bowl shaped as you might want) and is connected to regular sewerage and plumbing.

How to use a Japanese squat toilet

Obviously, you must squat over the toilet and any deposits will fall into the hole. Still it can be confusing. Here are the main points:

Which way is forward

The squatty potty is laid flush to the floor, but one end generally extends up in a half cup shape. Face that part that extends up out of the ground.

Do I take my pant's off or..

What to do with your pants is the most common issue. The trick is to only slide them down as much as is necessary to expose the necessary area. Below your knees and you will pee on them. At your knees and they will uncomfortable bunch behind your knees when you squat down. Halfway down your thighs is about the best place.

Other clothing issue

  • Skirts: Be sure bunch your skirt up and in front of you lest it collect anything.
  • Ties: Make sure this doesn't hang too far down as it can get peed on.
  • Pockets: Be sure you don't have anything like keys or a wallet in your back pockets. Squatters generally don't have much water in them, so if you have to fish anything out of the squat toilet, it's not going to be pleasant what you have to fish them out of.


In a western toilet, whatever comes out falls into water. In the eastern version, it may just be sitting on the porcelain. When submerged, it doesn't smell; when lying out, it does. Feel free to flush as much as you need to. For modesty, flushing before you start is to cover any noise is very acceptable.

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