By Kristen Olson
Welcome to the Mitsui Garden Hotel, a Tokyo-based establishment that is providing specialized crying rooms for female professionals in Japan. On their website, Mitsui says, “the moment you pass through our entrance you are filled with a feeling of relief.” They attribute this relaxing quality to “the governing women in charge of planning, design, and construction of the hotel.” Mitsui holds that its staff’s “feminine gentleness and sensibility joined with practicality creates balance.”
A press release from Mitsui Garden Hotels explains that they hope to allow women to de-stress and overcome emotional problems by crying “heartily” in private. Yohei Ezato, the PR representative for Mitsui Garden Hotel Yotsuya, tells The Post that with more Japanese women succeeding in the workforce than ever before, there’s also been a rise in female stress and anxiety. “I want the women who exert themselves every day to cry, to relieve their stress in rooms as much as they like,” Ezato says.
As someone who openly pops in The Lion King and The Land Before Time to have a good cry, I actually like this idea. The number of online journals that are poking fun at the concept further underlines the benefits of a tranquil space for working women.
To add scientific weight to the hotel’s idea, biochemist William Frey, who has spent 15 years researching tears, found in one study that emotional tears (those formed in distress or grief) contained more toxic byproducts than tears of irritation (think onion peeling). Weeping, he concluded, is an excretory process which removes toxic substances that normally build up during emotional stress. The simple act of crying also reduces the body’s manganese level, a mineral which affects mood and is found in up to 30 times greater concentration in tears than in blood serum.
The Mitsui Garden Hotel has transformed 12 rooms into anxiety-ailing oases, with rooms equipped with tissues said to be as "soft as cashmere," warm sheets for added comfort and warmth around the neck, and soothing face masking aimed at suppressing swelling. Proving that they really have thought of everything, Mitsui also provides a myriad of films including Forrest Gump, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, the South Korean film A Moment to Remember (where a young couple faces the debilitating effects of Alzheimer's disease), and Japan’s A Tale Of Mari And Three Puppies, which tells the true story of a dog and her three puppies who survived the Chuetsu earthquake of 2004. They even provide eye-makeup remover!
Guests can also read from a recommended collection of tear-inducing manga comic books from the Japanese publisher Maruzen. Of course, what visit would be complete without these 5?
- Elfen Lied
- Grave of Fireflies
- Clannad Afterstory
- Angel Beats
- Full Moon Wo Sagashite
A crying room can be booked at 10,000 Japanese yen per day (around £55) during the special promotion, which is available until August 31.
Now if only we could find out where men can go to suppress their emotions…
Interested in booking your own crying room? Check-in here: http://www.gardenhotels.co.jp/eng/