• Compiled From Kyodo, Staff Report


Enjoy a herbal tea, learn new makeup tricks and hair arrangements, even buy lingerie. Such services may be pretty standard for a spa in Ginza, but this particular oasis is courtesy of Osaka Station’s ¥300-per-hour toilet service called Angelbe.

Angelbe has become a hit with young high school girls and young businesswomen. The West Japan Railway Company (JR West) started the for-profit toilet service after hearing complaints from women that there were no good places to do their makeup or “kill time.”

Rumors of Angelbe quickly spread through the station and beyond after it was opened in 2007. Now, Angelbe has attracted more than 150,000 customers. The toilet has also attracted some sponsors, with Panasonic, Wacoal and Shiseido stepping in to associate their brands with the concept.

In March, Panasonic plans to advertise a new hair-iron product at Angelbe by having a professional hair stylist introduce the product and advise potential customers on how they should use it.

Wacoal is planning to have a fitting event for lingerie at Angelbe in March as well. A lingerie specialist will be brought in to measure women and recommend various items for customers to try on.

JR West seems confident of its new creation.

“We can’t say we are not surprised,” a spokesperson said. “The word spread very quickly and Angelbe is getting very good feedback from its users. And it also benefits the sponsors.”

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