Irasshaimase, one and all! Welcome back to another peek into the exciting world of Disney Parks and Resorts restrooms! This week, we've got an exciting loo to visit -- an international destination to a men's room in the Far East (truth be told, it's the far South -- of Epcot, but I digress -- ed); however, before we start our journey, please accept our thanks for taking time out of your life to visit our site. Seriously: we're terribly flattered. Just this past week, we hit 4000 followers on Facebook -- who would have imagined we'd ever come close to that? So, please, accept our most humble gratitude for your enthusiasm for this most unusual blog! We here at the Loo Review are your biggest fans!
Alright. Now that the mushy stuff is out of the way, let's head over to World Showcase for a visit to the destination situated between Morocco and American Adventure. That's right, we're going to Japan, and what better place in the Japan Pavilion to check out than the loo upstairs to Mitsukoshi? Yes! We're headed to inspect the facilities at Teppan Edo!
Mitsukoshi is the famed department store that marks one side of the entrance to the Japan Pavilion. If you've never been inside, thinking it was just another Disney gift shop, you'd better think again. We love Mitsukoshi: cool Japanese plush animals, wasabi flavored dried squid (the editorial staff here at the Loo Review does not endorse trying that particular snack ... ed), kimonos, chopsticks, tea serving sets -- we hope you get the point. Mitsukoshi literally has something for everyone ... except a loo. Bummer, right?
There aren't many restroom options in Japan. Fortunately, those options that are available are unique and heavily-themed. Take, for example, the Loo at Teppan Edo.
Teppan Edo is the Teppan-yaki restaurant, serving Japanese hibachi cuisine and situated above Mitsukoshi. In order to get there, one must ascend a long flight of stairs. Take a look:
Trust us, the food is worth the climb -- but is the loo? Once through the double doors at the top of these stairs, the hungry diner has the option of visiting Tokyo Dining (another restaurant above the store) or Teppan Edo. Tokyo Dining is to our right; however, our hibachi loo is to the left.
Once through Teppan Edo's entrance, we are met at the hostess stand. A loooong hallway stretches ahead of us. Let's venture forth, shall we?
Between the walk up the stairs and then down this hallway, we're ready for a pit-stop. Fortunately, the hallway's end marks our goal: here are the loos, marked by two red doors. The color red plays a huge role here, as we're about to see.
Before we walk into the loo, however, our eyes are drawn to nearby artwork. Let's take a gander:
We love this colorful checkered wall hanging! Floral notes alternating with squares of stained wood lit from above -- really sets the mood for a trip to the loo, no?
And this: we really dig this one. It's a recessed red box, covered in glass, housing a collection of dried flowers. Once again, warmly lit from above -- this is a cool piece just outside of the men's loo (image "enhanced" to remove the author's bald reflection from the photo ... ed).
As you can see, this area of the restaurant is quite colorful, with Imagineers liberally-employing the color red throughout the "pre-Loo" area. Crimson plays an important role in Japanese culture, and Disney designers have readily acknowledged this in Teppan Edo. Does it carry over into the loo itself?
Yes. Yes it does.
Wow! This loo might not be for everyone, but we here at the blog love it. Stark contrasts are the rule here: bright red doors, deep black walls and floor tile, bright white sinks -- all lit from above by brilliant yellow. Whether or not it suits your personal aesthetic, you must admit this is pretty unique. Honestly, the photos simply do not do justice to just how striking the contrasts are within this restroom. Walking into the room, it almost forces one to physically stop and pause to drink it all in (PLEASE, for future reference, don't use the word "drink" when discussing restroom basins ... ed).
As seen in the above photo, there's three sink basins adorned with modern fixtures. The mirror's reflection demonstrates 2 stalls opposite the sinks, with the ADA compliant stall at the room's end.
Here's another view of the sinks, this time standing deep in the loo, looking back towards the entrance. Check out that yellow light peeking out over the top of those black walls!
Two modern-appearing urinals are just hanging out: father and son waiting for someone to visit. The yellow light from above masks the unfortunate occasion when someone forgets to flush.
Let's look into the ADA stall and check out the digs:
Just peeking through the door, we can tell this one is large and well-appointed. Moving in further ....
Holy Kobe beef: this things a monster! Once again, we find a spacious ADA stall, clearly large enough for several persons and a wheelchair. Check out the weird, mega-sized, toilet paper holder/dispenser: we here at the blog think it's really a Transformer, watching customers use the restroom, waiting for activation by Megatron (we could be wrong ... but, probably not).
Here's a wide shot of the stall, giving us a better idea of its size:
And what's this? Below the oft found coat hook on the stall door, we see a sign inviting visitors to hang up their handbags as well. Is it odd that this loo includes the Español translation for handbag instead of the Japanese one? Is it strange that a handbag sign is in the men's room? Is it even stranger that someone needs a sign to know it's okay to hang something on a door mounted hook? And why is that Transformer still watching us?
Lastly, the diaper changing station is found within this loo's ADA compliant stall -- not within the main area of the restroom. That's okay -- this is not a big loo, and we're just happy the Department of Loo Imagineering was able to find at least one spot to devote to the wee one's.
Here's the exterior of the wall mounted diaper changing station. It's one of those pull down numbers: but check out the styling!
It's sleek, it's modern ... it's stainless steel (groan)! Will the side upon which the babes must rest their buttocks also be constructed of cold metal?
Thankfully, no! This station is all business when folded up, but when the shelf is lowered, the plastic interior provides a warmer alternative to the oft seen stainless steel tush coolers in other restrooms on property.
Here's a close up of the changing station sign. It's a darling silhouette of a dad getting ready to pat a tie-fighter resting in a clam shell. The Japanese are so quirky!
Shhh! Don't say anything -- these ladies are totally in on that Transformer in the restroom conspiracy.
Alright, enough shenanigans: let's wrap up this week's Loo Review.
WDW Loo Review Recap of Teppan Edo Loo in the Japan Pavilion in Epcot's World Showcase:
Capacity: Medium (two urinals, three stalls -- one ADA compliant)
Theming: Excellent (must be seen to be believed)
Changing Station: Yes
Companion Restroom: No
OVERALL RATING: 4/5 urinal wafers
Summary: Though it's a bit out of the way for those persons not eating at either Teppan Edo or Tokyo Dining, we think this Loo is well-worth the climb to visit. The restroom embraces colors beloved by Japanese culture and integrates them into a unique and vibrant evacuation experience! A must visit!
Thanks so much for joining us for another week!
Until next Sunday morning, bottoms down and thumbs up, everyone!
Loo Review Matt