Decor fit for a trendy beauty salon. A breathtaking view of autumn leaves in a sprawling city park.

Two recent additions to central Tokyo nurseries -- one built by Shiseido Co. and the other by Shinsei Bank for their employees' children -- break all the stereotypes of Japanese day-care centers. They also attest to growing corporate awareness that it pays to help employees balance family and work.

The most unique feature of Kangaroom, opened in September by cosmetic giant Shiseido, is its aesthetics. The 230-sq.-meter nursery is located on the first floor of an office building in the Shiodome business district, surrounded by soaring skyscrapers. Inside, fluorescent light balls hang from the high ceiling. A giant red circular sofa, where kids can jump up and down, gives the place a salonlike feeling.