Photo/IllutrationSigns on each toilet stall door make it easier for female users to know which ones are vacant at the Hanazono Rugby Stadium in Higashi-Osaka, Osaka Prefecture. (Provided by Toto Ltd.)

  • Photo/Illustraion
  • Photo/Illustraion
  • Photo/Illustraion
  • Photo/Illustraion

Foreign visitors coming to Japan for the 2019 Rugby World Cup that starts on Sept. 20 will be relieved to learn that most of the remaining squat toilets at the venues have been replaced with high-tech facilities as part of pricey large-scale renovations.

Nine of 12 venues hosting matches during the six-week-long event have spruced up their restrooms to make spectators feel more at home.

The renovations also serve as a chance for toilet makers such as Toto Ltd., known as a manufacturer of “smart toilets” that feature amenities such as a bidet and heated seat, to show off their products to visitors from abroad.

Hanazono Rugby Stadium, in Higashi-Osaka in Osaka Prefecture, shelled out 7.26 billion yen ($67 million) on sweeping renovations, which included new seats for spectators and new lighting.

The venue, known in Japan as a sacred site for the sport, will host four matches during the Cup.

Before the renovation, about 60 percent of the stadium's facilities were squat toilets. But now, all are Western-style toilets of Toto’s Washlet brand.

Employees of the Kita-Kyushu-based company got involved in the project as soon as plans were first drawn up to revamp the restrooms.

To cut waiting lines for restrooms, Toto also installed toilets that are able to refill their water tanks in just 20 seconds, compared with previous models that took 60 seconds.

The renovated restrooms also have separate entrances and exits so foot traffic will flow smoothly.

But not every aspect of the design is based on practicalities.

Male fans will have a chance to test their accuracy at urinals that feature a tiny target inside that changes color when hit by urine.

Other venues have also gone the extra mile to accommodate fans.

All toilets for spectators at the International Stadium Yokohama are now Western-style. One-third were previously squat types.

Toilets for World Cup officials there were also updated.

Squat toilets are gone, too, at the Kumagaya Rugby Stadium in Saitama Prefecture.

Ten percent of Tokyo Stadium's toilets are still squats. But they will be gone by 2020, when the capital hosts the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.

There will still be some squat toilets at the Rugby Cup venue in Fukuoka when the World Cup opens, but all its toilets are expected to be Western-style by the end of March.

Venues in Fukuroi in Shizuoka Prefecture, Kumamoto and Oita have also been refurbished.

However, officials there decided to keep a few squat toilets after some members of the public expressed discomfort about sitting on a Western-style toilet after a stranger had used the facility.

Toyota Stadium in Toyota in Aichi Prefecture updated its Western-style toilets, which represented about 70 percent of its lavatories. They now come with heated toilet seats and bidets.

Three venues hosting Rugby Cup matches didn't need to renovate their facilities as they had already been updated.

The Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium in Iwate Prefecture was recently constructed, Kobe Misaki Stadium carried out a facelift long ago, and Sapporo Dome was updated by fiscal 2015 as part of regular renovation projects.