We would have been unaware of Inax but for the Bidet_Seats page on TerryLove.com.

Until yesterday, so far as we know, the only Inax products that were sold in the U.S. were the two advanced toilet seats listed at http://www.easycarts.net/ecarts/terr...det_Seats.html. However, as we are planning to upgrade our toilet to a "washlet-type" toilet seat, we made a note to investigate Inax as a part of our itinerary when we were visiting Japan last month.

What we discovered was that Inax is definitely at the high end of the Japanese market, and has a six-floor prestige showroom (complete with a respected art gallery) at Ginza 1-chome in Tokyo (technically, Kyobashi), and its residential products are very, very expensive. We also discovered that Inax toilets are the only toilets installed at Narita and Haneda International Airports in the Tokyo area, at Chitose International Airport in Hokkaido, and at the Mercure Hotel in Sapporo where we stayed. Toto's former dominance of public facilities seens to have been significantly eroded. That was a surprise.

Now, it appears that Inax will be selling a much broader line of products in the United States, and today launched a new website, http://inax-usa.com/ to show them off. They include toilets with a "Double Vortex" flushing system very much like Toto's and a surface treatment of the toilet bowl porcelain very much like Toto's SanaGloss.

And they are expensive. Boy, howdy, are they expensive. But some of them are very pretty.