My old laundry machine in Japan - and it was actually a fairly modern one!
The first time in 23+ years that I was faced with an American washing machine, I was stunned by the buttons that allowed you to make choices about water temperature. I'm sure that our washing machine when I was growing up had such choices, but I frankly did not pay any attention to them at all. In my youth, laundry was hardly a primary concern - unlike now when it's something I have concerns about so that I don't end up ruining my clothes.
One interesting thing about the option to choose hot, cold, or warm water wash is that there is a risk of wrecking something. The default cold water wash in Japan meant things didn't get as clean as they might, but it also meant I never had to worry about mixing colors and whites because there was little risk that one would bleed into the other. In fact, I rarely sorted my laundry when I lived in Japan for this reason.
Still, despite the lack of risk of turning all of my husband's shirts pink by including a red shirt in the mix, I hated the way in which the laundry was freezing cold and wet when I removed it and had to handle it for prolonged periods of time in winter. With no central heating and very cold and wet things, this put my fingers at risk.
I still don't miss only being able to wash my clothes in cold water.