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Tokyo entertainment complex remodels restroom to remove gender-neutral setup

42 Comments
By SoraNews24

Prior to the opening of the Tokyu Kabukicho Tower last April, the project was primarily known as the latest move to spruce/clean up the Kabukicho district, a part of downtown Tokyo with a lively but seedy reputation. Once the high-rise entertainment complex started welcoming visitors, though, the thing that grabbed many people’s attention wasn’t the 53-story building’s shops, restaurants, arcade, or "Evangelion" stage play venue, but its bathroom facilities.

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The building’s basement level 2 restroom, connected to a dining/drinking area, was designed as a “genderless restroom,” the term used in Japan for a gender-neutral setup. Initially, all of its fully enclosed stalls were designated as gender-neutral, with a shared island-style hand-washing station outside of them. This arrangement was met with a strong negative response, though, with many voicing concern about the personal safety implications of men being able to loiter and congregate near restrooms being used by women.

▼ The genderless restroom, as it appeared when the building opened

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The building’s management responded by quickly instating security guard patrols through the restroom, then in May installed temporary-looking partitions to funnel men and women towards separate gender-dedicated stalls, as seen in the photo below.

Screen-Shot-2023-08-07-at-8.23.15.png

On July 24, permanent renovation work began, and as of the restroom’s reopening on August 4, the restroom is no longer designated as genderless, and is now separated into an area with seven stalls for women only, three for men, and two “multi-purpose” stalls (referring to a restroom that can be used by visitors with disabilities, caretakers, and parents with young children regardless of gender).

Gender-neutral restrooms aren’t unheard of in Japan, and are in fact fairly common in small shops and restaurants, which may only have one or two booths for the whole facility. The associated hand-washing stations also tend to be either within the booth or in a space outside that’s easily visible.

Though such layouts are generally a product of limited space more than anything else, they also alleviate concerns of being isolated with a stranger in/around the bathroom or of someone blending in with a large crowd to cover up sudden unscrupulous acts. By comparison, the Tokyu Kabukicho Tower’s larger gender-neutral design, especially being located on the restaurant/pub level of a building in a part of town known for hard-drinking and rowdy partying, had more potential to make some feel a sense of unease, and ultimately that’s what the management has chosen to address.

Source: Tokyo Shimbun via Hachima Kiko

Images © SoraNewws24

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© SoraNews24

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

42 Comments

Comments have been disabled You can no longer respond to this thread.

Sanity prevails. We don’t need this woke lark in Japan and the public spoke out about it.

Women’s bathrooms and changing rooms should be separate , it’s common sense and common decency to do this.

Can we get the world back to normality and become more civilised again please?

15 ( +41 / -26 )

The empire strikes back.

8 ( +17 / -9 )

One step forward, three back.

-14 ( +19 / -33 )

Virus

The citizens objected to this ridiculous idea, aren’t you a supporter of what the public wants?

0 ( +27 / -27 )

Men's room, women's room. Just separate the two. Sometimes men should just be with other men and women should be with other women. Going to the bathroom is one of those times. It's more comfortable that way.

Genders don't always have to be mixed. They're different. There's a time and place for everything.

20 ( +35 / -15 )

speed

Exactly, but there’s some that don’t care about women and girls feeling not just uncomfortable but also in fear in these situations. Those that promote this stuff are dangerous and it needs to stop now.

3 ( +26 / -23 )

The citizens objected to this ridiculous idea, aren’t you a supporter of what the public wants?

Appeal to popularity is a well described fallacy from those that understand they support something that can be objectively proved negative. It is the same justification used for not letting women access higher education or have the same rights.

-5 ( +18 / -23 )

Virusrex

Erm, you often use popularity to promote your supports for vaccines and lockdowns, excuse me?

What the hell do toilets have to do with women’s rights or access to higher education? Women still have toilet access, do you actually comprehend what the article says.

Sorry to ask but your comparisons are ludicrous and have zero to do with the genderless toilets.

Seriously, how is this progress? Go to the designated toilets, it’s what we always do anyway.

8 ( +30 / -22 )

especially being located on the restaurant/pub level of a building in a part of town known for hard-drinking and rowdy partying, had more potential to make some feel a sense of unease, and ultimately that’s what the management has chosen to address.

This is the key point old bean. Inebriated people, you see.

18 ( +20 / -2 )

I don't have a problem with gender-neutral toilets but I always need to use the disabled one.

8 ( +14 / -6 )

Erm, you often use popularity to promote your supports for vaccines and lockdowns, excuse me?

No, I have never done that, the scientific consensus is not about popularity but about how all professionals reach the same conclusion when objective evidence is presented, in this case that the measures to contain a pandemic are justified.

You on the other hand pretend that just because something is popular then it automatically becomes correct, which was easy to demonstrate makes absolutely no sense. Even if your argument is now about not understanding this very clear examples where the same argument is used to justify other things that can be demonstrated as wrong.

-4 ( +16 / -20 )

Virusrex

Stop going around in circles, you’re looking daft mate.

The public consensus was that they didn’t want these genderless toilets and they were stopped.

Please demonstrate, scientifically or maybe with a peer reviewed study what good a genderless toilet does and how it will benefit the patrons and the company?

Why are you so keen on genderless toilets anyway?

10 ( +30 / -20 )

Sanity prevails. We don’t need this woke lark in Japan and the public spoke out about it. 

Women’s bathrooms and changing rooms should be separate , it’s common sense and common decency to do this. 

Can we get the world back to normality and become more civilised again please?

I second that motion.

Sorry to ask but your comparisons are ludicrous and have zero to do with the genderless toilets.

Nailed it again.

1 ( +20 / -19 )

Disabled toilets are gender-neutral.

24 ( +27 / -3 )

cuddly

Cheers, you’re in about the 10% minority on this site that see sense and values women’s and girls privacy and safety.

-3 ( +18 / -21 )

Stop going around in circles, you’re looking daft mate.

Not going around in circles, the same argument that you tried to ignore still disproves yours, things being popular do not automatically means they are good, sorry but that was a terribly bad attempt using a well known fallacy.

The "public consensus" is not based on a professional analysis of the merits for society and objective parameters to consider something actually positive or not, so it is still an invalid appeal to popularity to justify something that can be proved wrong. The scientific consensus is a completely different thing based on evidence and validated methods to reach valid conclusions. Pretending both things are the same makes absolutely no sense, as proved by the examples that you tried so hard to ignore but still prove the fallacy.

Why are you so keen on genderless toilets anyway?

I am keen on correcting a flawed argument based on irrational premises, it is not my fault that this is the only justification you could find to defend your personal preferences over what is actually better for society.

-7 ( +16 / -23 )

Why are you so keen on genderless toilets anyway?

Because anyone can use them. It is spiffing convenient.

4 ( +14 / -10 )

I second that motion.

But without arguments, which clearly proves there is none valid to use. Just another example of pretending popularity is an argument to prove something is right, something that by this point is clearly incorrect.

-3 ( +15 / -18 )

Virusrex

Well, if it’s wrong then show a study or report that shows they are a good idea for the general public rather than waffling in and dismissing out of hand what anyone else has to say. Or even give your own opinion of why you think this is a step backwards?

-4 ( +18 / -22 )

Well, if it’s wrong then show a study or report that shows they are a good idea for the general public rather than waffling in and dismissing out of hand what anyone else has to say. 

https://www.rutgers.edu/news/gender-neutral-restrooms-make-women-minorities-feel-safer-more-included-rutgers-study-finds

It is not so hard, scientific and health related institutions around the world that have something to do with the field clearly have expressed the benefits of making things inclusive and accepting.

What you can't find are professionals saying that just because something is popular then it must be correct.

0 ( +15 / -15 )

Yes, even where the unpopular opinion is in the minority, when it supports the right thing to do,

When you fail to make an argument about how something is supposedly right and instead make the argument based on how popular it is that means you are already recognizing it is not actually the best thing to do.

Unless of course there are multiple scientific studies that prove these are a good idea for the general public. Which of course, don't exist.

A very clear example has already been provided, pretending not to be able to read something is a terribly bad excuse for an argument.

The people have spoken.

Which, again, do not make "the people" right, the examples are clear enough to prove that.

1 ( +15 / -14 )

1850 - No public toilets

1851 - First public toilets

1877 - First gender-separated public toilets

2023 - collapse of civilisation, you see.

13 ( +20 / -7 )

Virus

Totalky irrelevant study, it’s focusing on women and African Americans in the workplace. What does that have to do with a public toilet in a building frequented by the public in Japan? It’s totally related to the US work environment and how they feel there.

Sorry, but that is scraping the barrel and totally unscientific.

1 ( +17 / -16 )

I wonder why the activists don't respect women's feelings. Generally speaking, us blokes couldn't care less if there were women using the same toilets. It's the women who want privacy. Why not let them have it?

4 ( +18 / -14 )

Totalky irrelevant study

The source is clear, the conclusions valid, the data objective, this is a well conducted study that demonstrate gender neutral bathrooms are a benefit for society. You being unable to accept the science do not make that science irrelevant. Much less unscientific (since you have made no argument against the scientific value of the study, just that you don't like it).

Can you provide a study that says anything the public supports becomes correct just because of that reason? I mean, after all that is the only argument you have used for this discussion.

-1 ( +13 / -14 )

Bertie

Who knows what motives they have, I would prefer not to know but if it makes women feel uncomfortable I can hazard a guess.

-3 ( +12 / -15 )

Anis aid the study has zero relevance to this case in Japan

Then make a scientific argument to demonstrate how Japan is different from the rest of the world so studies done in other countries or population automatically fail to apply just when you consider it convenient.

Without that argument the article is perfectly valid, none of the conclusions from the study are limited to only the people included so it is perfectly logical to extrapolate unless you can demonstrate objectively that this is not valid. And no, just because you think Japanese are not humans that is not a reason to exclude the population of Japan from what a scientific study says.

I mean it is not like this is the only reference from a educational institution that says something similar.

https://www.dcc.edu/student-life/lgbt-resources/inclusive-use-restrooms/default.aspx

https://www.american.edu/student-affairs/cdi/gender-neutral-restrooms.cfm

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9407760/

If a medical company tested a vaccine on people, aged 20-50 and said it’s ok it will benefit all, would that be acceptable?

If they make a scientific argument for it and nobody can contradict them (again with scientific data to disprove that conclusion) then obviously yes.

In your case you have been disproved, and your only argument is still an invalid appeal to popularity, for which of course you could not provide any scientific source to validate, which should be obvious since it is a well known fallacy.

-4 ( +10 / -14 )

The perfect toilet is clean, well-lit, gender-neutral with disabled access and baby-changing facilities. Anyone who argues otherwise is a cad and a bounder with some nefarious agenda.

1 ( +10 / -9 )

Virus

None of those links bear any relation to this, the last one is for children’s schools in Australia.

Show me a study that shows benefits for the whole population, preferably a Japanese one. One that shows data like they are safer, they are cleaner etc?

-2 ( +10 / -12 )

The amount of energy expended over a minuscule yet vocal (and some would say “obnoxious) part of our society just boggles the mind.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

Sanity prevails. We don’t need this woke lark in Japan and the public spoke out about it. 

Women’s bathrooms and changing rooms should be separate , it’s common sense and common decency to do this. 

Can we get the world back to normality and become more civilised again please?

I wholeheartedly agree!

2 ( +17 / -15 )

If they make a scientific argument for it and nobody can contradict them (again with scientific data to disprove that conclusion) then obviously yes.

Those "studies" are not performed by scientists. None are remotely related to Japan.

And where Japanese society is rejecting these genderless bathrooms as not being a benefit of society, then trying to argue those are a benefit for a small segment of society in Australia is a red herring.

-1 ( +13 / -14 )

None of those links bear any relation to this, the last one is for children’s schools in Australia

Again, unless you can prove how Japan is not part of planet Earth and therefore studies for humans do not apply this is not an argument, is just an excuse you want to use for not having one.

Make the argument, prove scientifically how the perfectly valid conclusions of the different sources apply to humans in general but not to Japanese (again, because they disprove your belief is not a scientific reason) or else you have to accept genderless bathrooms are better for society.

-6 ( +10 / -16 )

The amount of energy expended over a minuscule yet vocal (and some would say “obnoxious) part of our society just boggles the mind.

Exactly. We have all benefitted from the gender-neutral toilets in the convenience stores. What kind of backwards cad would argue against that ?

3 ( +7 / -4 )

bass

Oh yeah, and I’d still like to know why these people want to be in the same bathroom space as women and female children too of course. I think there’s something very dark behind all this.

-1 ( +12 / -13 )

Those "studies" are not performed by scientists. None are remotely related to Japan.

Why comment something to clearly false? the references include universities and studies published by scientific journals, what argument do you have to call the authors not scientists?

If your only argument is that scientists can only prove what you want to believe then that just shows a personal antiscientific bias, the same as pretending things that applies to human society in general do not apply to this specific situation just because you don't want to accept those conclusions.

then trying to argue those are a benefit for a small segment of society in Australia is a red herring.

First that is not what a red herring is, second the conclusions of the scientific report is that the benefit is for society in general, what is the point again to openly claim things that are so easy to prove false?

-4 ( +9 / -13 )

Virus

No I don’t. The fact you can’t see the difference between the whole Japanese population compared to kids in a school in America says it all. As I said before, one size fits all doesn’t work as we saw from the lockdown debacle.

1 ( +13 / -12 )

 I don’t. The fact you can’t see the difference between the whole Japanese population compared to kids in a school in America says it all

You have been repeatedly called to demonstrate how those differences (from several different populations) make the conclusions invalid. You have provided zero reasons, just that you must be right so nothing that disproves your preconception can be applied.

Still waiting for those scientific arguments, both to justify the fallacy of appeal to popularity and to prove Japanese are not part of the human race so studies in any other population do not apply.

-6 ( +7 / -13 )

I think there’s something very dark behind all this

lockdown debacle

One can sense a Venn diagram forming.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Big big difference between a gender neutral bathroom and making a childish fuss over a trans woman using the girl’s room people.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Gender-neutral restrooms aren’t unheard of in Japan, and are in fact fairly common in small shops and restaurants, which may only have one or two booths for the whole facility.

But those restrooms are meant for use by only one person at a time. Haven't seen one meant to be used by more than one at the same time

6 ( +11 / -5 )

Why comment something to clearly false? the references include universities and studies published by scientific journals, what argument do you have to call the authors not scientists?

That's a question you should ask yourself.

One of your "sources":

Gender-Neutral Toilets: A Qualitative Exploration of Inclusive School Environments for Sexuality and Gender Diverse Youth in Western Australia

The restroom in Kabukicho is a long way from Western Australia, and will not be used primarily by Australian gender diverse youths. It was a nice opinion paper though by a bunch of psychologists.

-1 ( +10 / -11 )

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