In this village, you often find a small cabin just next to the main house.
Many old houses have this type of annex alongside barns or cattle pens.
These small cabins are in fact toilets.
Old houses (renovated or not) have their toilet outside.
Old habits die hard
There are some reasons for this habit:
In the past, the restroom used to be unhygienic, so people preferred to build a separate cabin.
Waste from the toilet was used as organic fertilizer in the past.
And in Japanese tradition (maybe due to Buddhist influence), it is deemed “impure”.
Local people seem to enjoy the outside restroom, even if they now have one inside of the house (after spending a fortune for renovation).
Ottobatake is no exception. The toilets are outside of the main house.
You need to walk outside for 24 seconds to use the toilet. Do you think it inconvenient?
But you can enjoy the breeze for 8 seconds – or even more, if you feel like it.
You can enjoy a starry sky during the evening and at night. The sky is wonderful, for there are no street lights here. You might even encounter wild animals visiting Ottobatake.
On rainy days, it might be a bit inconvenient. On cold days, it could be hard.
But this outside toilet has long been a key feature of the houses in this area, where the sewage system has not been developed. For local people it is completely normal, and some even make a feature of their outside cabins, continuing to pop in and out of the house even if they have also spent a lot of money installing toilet facilities inside the house. Old habits die hard around here!
Why not have a truly authentic experience!