In recent years, rest areas for highways have been renovated at many places, and restrooms have evolved to be brighter, more beautiful, and more luxurious. The “Deluxe Restroom” in Kariya Highway Oasis, placed next to Kariya Parking Area of Isewangan Expressway, was the first to become the new standard of restrooms on highways.
Luxury restrooms at Kariya: How do they look now after 16 years?
The Kariya Highway Oasis started its operation in December 2004, with many unique facilities such as an amusement park (with a giant ferris wheel!), hot spring, farmers market, and a dining area with high quality furnitures from a local company, Karimoku Furniture. Since then, the facility has been famous as an innovative example for rest areas on highways.Among the many facilities in Kariya Highway Oasis, the “Deluxe Restroom” has drawn many visitors’ attention.
The “Deluxe Restroom” is comparable to the luxurious restrooms you see in high-class hotels and department stores, and because of its clean look and comfortableness, many visitors have used the space to eat food in the lounge inside the restroom.
Kariya Highway Oasis spent over ¥200 million ($2 million) in total just for the restrooms. The women’s restroom is especially luxurious, with having luxurious carpets and a comfortable sofa in the central space decorated with flower arrangements. In 2011, the restrooms underwent a major renovation, and completed its current style.
“We thought that one of the important elements of our restrooms was to provide visitors with surprises and changes, so we did a large-scale renovation based on the concept of “flowers” to provide visitors with new enjoyment, rather than just replacing equipments because those had become damaged.”, says the facility management team for Kariya Highway Oasis.
“We’ve replaced the traditional ‘Tokonameyaki’ tiles with some gorgeous flower arrangements for the wall. The outside walls were also redesigned using artificial flowers too.”
I also have recently visited the “Deluxe Restroom”, and was astonished by the clean look which has been well maintained for over 9 years. Considering the fact that these restrooms are open to the public for free, I think they’ve been doing their jobs incredibly.
So, how are the restrooms maintained everyday?
The facility management team explains, “Usually, restrooms at highways are available 24/7, but Kariya’s is only available between 6 AM to 10 PM, which means visitors cannot use it at night hours. Thanks to those hours, we can maintain the cleanliness of this restroom.”
The fact that the restroom is unavailable at midnight meant that it is possible to keep the restroom clean.
By the way, construction for the restroom cost about ¥200 million ($2 million), but the management team says the total cost for cleaning is definitely more than that, and cleaning the floor takes time than any other part.
Common restrooms use tiles on floors, which makes it possible to use water directly. But “Deluxe Restroom” has the floor carpeted, which means no water allowed when cleaning. They clean the entire floor once a month without using water.