Japan has given us a lot over the years. Karaoke, emoji, anime, Nintendo. Crying rooms.
Wait, crying rooms?
Yeah, apparently this is a new thing in Japan. According to The Telegraph, the Mitsui Garden Yotsuya hotel in Tokyo is offering women special “crying rooms” to help them combat stress.
The rooms, which can be booked for 10,000 Japanese yen per day (that’s about $85), through August 31, contain tissues, warm sheets and eye masks. Women can also watch tearjerker films — such as Forrest Gump — or read super-sad manga.
As Jezebel notes, the idea is pretty genius. Sometimes there really is nothing better for the psyche than a good cry. And having a safe space to do it in — away from home, away from work — strikes me as brilliant.
Still, I do take issue with the fact that the rooms are only for women. Yes, I realize this is Japan, where sometimes cultural ideas around gender are, let’s say, different from the western world. Still, I’d think Japanese men could enjoy a good cry, too.
As The Telegraph notes, crying rooms are just par for the course in the wacky world of Japanese hotels and cafes.
Tokyo is packed with “love hotels” — hotel rooms designed for short stays when you are feeling amorous. Reportedly, 1.4 million couples visit a love hotel each day.
There are also “cuddle cafes” where men pay to sleep next to a girl. They don’t get to have sex with the woman, but can pay extra to stare in her eyes for a minute or to stroke her hair. (OK, this is just creepy.)
And of course, Japan gave us the cat cafe — a concept since adopted in America — where individuals can enjoy a latte or juice while stroking a cat. Japan also now has bunny, owl and bird cafes.
It’s easy to dismiss a crying room as something silly or even unnecessary. Still, studies show that adult workers are under more stress than ever before. This is true in the east and in the west.
Crying is often seen as a sign of weakness, but evolutionary biologists have done studies that show the emotional benefits of crying.
It’s good to get it out.
And frankly, if we’re allowed to have nap rooms at work, I like the idea of having a crying room at a hotel.