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Thread: hygiene in Japan? (for women)

  1. #1
    ironlotus's Avatar 後輩 Female
    Join Date: Jul 23, 2007
    Posts: 1
    United States

    hygiene in Japan? (for women)

    Tokyo International Party

    Specifically, I have a question about feminine hygiene in Japan.
    Perhaps a strange topic for my first point, but since I haven't been to Japan before, and will be going this year at some point (and staying at a Japanese person's house-- a friend of a friend of the family), this is a question that is worrying me to no end (especially since I've gone some places without asking first, and found things to be quite different from the American system I'm used to). I put a great deal of pride into the impression I leave on people, and handling issues of personal hygiene properly according to custom and culture is something of incredible importance after all.
    Okay, so to the questions, and I've got a few.
    1) What sort of products are readily available? Should I take anything with me? In a similar vein, are tampons and pads sold in dispensers in public restrooms/store restrooms/school and university restrooms?
    2) What is the appropriate method for disposal in Japan? I know in American public restrooms there are waste baskets specifically for feminine hygiene products-- can I expect to find these in Japan too? What about at the house I'll be staying at-- is it acceptable if used items get flushed if they're flushable and wrapped in toilet paper and disposed of neatly in a wastebasket if they're not, like I do here? Or is there some other system? (I ask, again, because I have been places where there is in fact, a different system).
    3) I know Japanese usually take baths at night, but I like to style my hair in the morning, and if I sleep on it overnight, my styling usually gets flat on one side-- would it be a huge faux pas if I were to just shower in the morning? Or maybe bathe at night and shower quickly in the mornings (about 5 mins) just to wash my hair so that I can style it nicely?
    4) I've heard that there aren't usually hand dryers or paper towels in public bathrooms and that one should take a handkerchief everywhere with them--- is this true in your experience?
    5) Is there any other advice you might have for me?

    Thanks in advance-- someone, please respond because I absolutely will go insane if this doesn't get cleared up for me...


  2. #2
    kooo's Avatar Banned Female
    Join Date: Jun 30, 2006
    Posts: 64
    United States

    no males read this~

    1) As far as I know tampons aren't really sold in Japan, only pads. And I think they tend to be thinner, so if you usually use something with "super absorbency" or something, you should bring your own. Also, Japanese deodorant isn't that effective, so you may want to bring your own as well. The same for cosmetics like concealer, foundation etc, they tend to be suited for Asian complexions, so if you wear make-up...

    4) Yes, you should bring/buy a handkerchief. They're easy to find in Japan I think, I bought a lot while I was there because I thought they were cute :< lol.

    5) You may want to bring your own tylenol etc if you're the type to get sick a lot because Japanese OTC drugs aren't nearly as effective. And you may want to bring a small gift for your friend/her family if she still lives with them, to thank them for their hospitality. Also, try to be as careful/cautious as you would be in America. Japan is a safe country, but bad things do still happen, especially to foreign women.

    have fun in japan~
    Last edited by kooo; Jul 23, 2007 at 08:20.

  3. #3
    kenasto's Avatar 先輩 Male
    Join Date: Apr 2, 2007
    Posts: 74
    3) If you don't take a bath or shower at night, it might give some people the feeling that you sleep in the futon or bed unclean. It's just my opinion, but I wouldn't do that anywhere except in my own home.

  4. #4
    Kyoko_desu's Avatar 先輩 Female
    Join Date: Apr 1, 2006
    Posts: 687
    Right now I don's have time so just let me put a short and direct answer for now, and please excuse me if I make typos or weird sentenses. I'm really in a hurry. (Me or some other Japanese woman will answer more presicely later.)

    First, tampons are available everywhere, in any supermarkets or convenience stores, very easy to find one, so please do not worry about it.
    Also we have various types of pads, thin ones and real thick ones for nights.

    In public toilets (restrooms) we usually have a white tiny tin can behind(or beside) the toilet bowl, and you are supposed to throw the used ones. At home, I think it depends on the family. Some people just wrap the used tampon/pad with the toilet paper and throw in a normal garbage can. Some family has a special can in the toilet room.

    About the bath. I take bath every night before going to sleep and in the morning before going out, I wash my hair, and that's what lots of young girls here do.

    By the way, I hope you will have lots of fun in Japan and also in this forum. Welcome!

  5. #5
    Ewok85's Avatar Cute and Furry Male
    Join Date: Nov 14, 2003
    Location: Chiba/Tokyo
    Posts: 2,294
    Go Kyoko, I was worried I would have to answer :P

    4) I don't know about women's bathrooms, but about 70&#37; of males toilets have at least hand dryers, and almost every shop will have paper or dryers. Most people carry handkerchiefs because its easier, and also a habit that is ingrained from when they were young.
    Leon -
    Expat Japan! -

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