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Sanctuary for female travellers — powder room in Osaka rail station

Work & Lifestyle

Last year, we featured WC1, a public powder room that had opened on London’s Oxford Street. A place where, for GBP 5, stressed out shoppers and women on their way to a meeting or to dinner can relax, revive and be pampered. A recent spotting from Japan shows that this new business idea is spreading. Angelbe, which opened in December 2006, is a powder room operated by the West Japan Railway Company and located in Osaka’s main railway station. Like WC1, the space was designed to resemble a lounge, with chandeliers, soft curves and gentle lighting. Besides spotless bathroom facilities, Angelbe features make-up booths with comfortable chairs and well-lit mirrors, changing rooms and a separate smoking room. Since this is a perfect setting for relevant tryvertising, it’s no surprise that several companies have their products on offer in Angelbe: women can sample Shiseido cosmetics and use an array of hair dryers and straightening irons by Matsushita. Visitors pay JPY 300 (USD 2.50/EUR 1.85) per hour for use of the facilities, which are open daily from 6:30 am to 10:00 pm. There’s no doubt that women across the world would welcome an inviting place to recharge while on the go, and they’re likely to take notice of brands providing the service. Partner with retailers, transport companies and female-focused brands, and make it happen! For much more on how smart companies are catering to female consumers, check out trendwatching.com’s recent female fever briefing. (Related: Luxe London loos, Chic sanitary stop, Mobile loo locator and Schiphol’s baby lounge.) Spotted by: Mio Yamada

Website: www.westjr.co.jp/grbiz/newbiz/angelbe

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