How To: Buy your own automated Japanese toilet seat (or buy anything else from Japan)
We recently reviewed the Toshiba SCS-T160 automated Japanese toilet seat. We walk you through step-by-step how to buy your own, or just about anything else from Japan!
Important note 1: Because the Japanese toilet seat is made for Japanese domestic use, it's rated for a 100V mains power supply, whereas the mains power supply in Singapore is 220 - 240V. It's essential to use a step-down transformer with a sufficient power rating, or the electronic circuitry in the toilet seat will immediately spoil the moment you turn the power on. More details are provided below as to how to get the correct step-down transformer.
Important note 2: Before buying anything, ensure that your existing toilet has suitable dimensions appropriate for the toilet seat to fit! The Toshiba SCS-T160 requires at least 5.5cm clearance between the screws on the toilet seat and the seatback of the toilet bowl (see the diagram). The entire length of the toilet bowl, from the seatback to the front of the bowl should be at least 51.5cm.
Purchasing from Amazon Japan
1. Amazon Japan doesn't ship toilet seats to Singapore, so you'll have to purchase it through a freight forwarder like www.jauce.com. First, you'll have to create an account with www.jauce.com. You'll fill in your delivery address when creating the account.
2. Search on https://www.amazon.co.jp/ for the product you want (in my case, it was the "Toshiba SCS-T160").
3. Click on the product you want, then copy the URL.
4. Click on the Amazon Japan tab in www.jauce.com and paste the URL into the search bar, then click search.
5. Click "Add to shopping cart".
6. In the "Shopping Cart" page, click "Proceed to order page".
7. In the "Order confirm" page, click "Submit order".
8. After that, you'll have to transfer money to jauce.com for them to order the product for you. Please note that Paypal charges a fee to transfer money to jauce.com (the fee is 3.9% of the total amount to be deposited + 40JPY. So, for a 14,960JPY toilet seat, the total amount that must be paid via Paypal is 15,609JPY).
9. After depositing the correct sum, jauce.com will process your order. The product should automatically be displayed in your "My Orders" page. Once the product arrives at jauce.com they will inform you of the domestic + international delivery charges. You'll have to confirm the charges and click the button to process your delivery. At this point, you'll have to pay jauce.com again for the delivery charges - the order page will show you how much it costs. Deposit the required additional sum into jauce.com (as described in step 8 above), and jauce.com will arrange for delivery of your product!
Obtaining a step-down transformer
10. A step-down transformer (from 220-240V to 100V) is crucial in order not to damage your Japanese toilet seat! We purchased one from Qoo10. Search qoo10.sg for a "100V step down transformer". We ordered this particular one: Yazawa HTDC240V1000W Step Down Transformer 220V-240V to 100V (1000W). Because the Toshiba SCS-T160 has a power rating of 662W, and step-down transformers aren't 100% efficient, a rule of thumb is to get a transformer with 1.5 times the power rating, which was why we got a step-down transformer with a 1000W power rating.