We’re all well aware that rich people love to spend their money on extravagant purchases, but you’d think that the toilet paper they bought probably wasn't all that different from the amount we’re willing to spend. Proving there’s a market for overpriced products in any area though is the Hanebisho toilet paper; a luxury that could be equal to pretty much just flushing your money down the toilet. At ¥5,000 per pack it works out at around $17 per roll, which I'm sure you’ll agree is a high price to pay for simply wiping your bum.
There’s no doubt that the Hanebisho is fancy, just look at the advert (although it looks suspiciously like a perfume advert):
But why is it so expensive? According to the manufacturers the toilet paper is made of 100% Canadian pulp, which is then treated using water from Nyodo River (apparently the cleanest river in Japan). During production the manufacturers treat the process much like cooking pancakes – if the heat is too high the bottom will burn and the middle will be too dry, so the toilet paper is dried more slowly to ensure that it remains nice and soft. It sounds like time is no obstruction when you’re trying to create the perfect roll of toilet paper. After the paper is ready, the makers of each roll will sign their name and date of production on it – that’s how proud they are of their work!
If this is true then the company’s manager should be winning awards for the most hands-on manager in the world. He has allegedly tested every single Hanebisho roll produced in the last 10 years on his own skin to make sure each one is of the highest quality. I just hope he’s not testing them in that way…
Of course, softness isn’t the only thing that matters when you’re paying this much money. You don’t want a roll that’s just as plain as the cheapest roll in ASDA, so a team of artists decorate the rolls with intricate and stylish designs to ensure you get to look at a pretty picture before you wipe. They’re still not done there though, with the toilet rolls carefully wrapped in Tosa Washi (a special type of paper from Japan’s Kochi Prefecture) and then placed in handmade decorated boxes. They then cover the inside of the box with silver leaf, just for good measure! This long process may produce quality paper, but it also takes a lot of time. As a result there are only 150 rolls produced each day.
All this is for a toilet paper that apparently feels “as if your skin is being gently swathed in silk” and has apparently been given to the Emperor of Japan for the last 5 years. Is all this worth it simply for toilet paper though? I know people like comfort when they do the job down there, but I’m not about to start going this far.