[Learn through Quiz] Barrier-free(accessible) Accommodation: What’s the Secret to Comfortable Shower Use?

[Learn through Quiz] Barrier-free(accessible) Accommodation: What’s the Secret to Comfortable Shower Use?

【This article is all about accessibility in Japan.】

Hello everyone. Today, we’re going to learn about barrier-free(accessible) standards in accommodation facilities through a quiz. We’ll focus particularly on the standard for bathroom showers. This knowledge is not only useful when using hotels or inns but also important for understanding the significance of barrier-free(accessible) design.

Barrier-free(accessible) Quiz

Now, let’s start with a quiz!

Q: In accommodation facilities, bathroom showers should, in principle, be [◯◯◯◯◯◯◯◯◯].

What do you think is the correct answer? Take a moment to consider.

The correct answer is “handheld showers”!

Why Handheld Showers?

The reason handheld showers are recommended is to allow users to shower easily without changing their body orientation or position. This standard was established considering the convenience and safety of users.

Handheld showers have the following advantages:

  • Free angle adjustment: You can easily direct the shower to different parts of your body.
  • Use while seated: Those with limited mobility or wheelchair users can use them safely.
  • Ease of assistance: If a caregiver is present, they can provide support efficiently.

International Perspective: Comparison with Standards in Other Countries

This Japanese standard is consistent with international thinking. For example, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines also require the installation of a detachable spray unit (equivalent to a handheld shower) in accessible showers.

Similar standards are in place in European countries as well. In Sweden, known as a leader in universal design, the installation of handheld showers is recommended not only in public accommodation facilities but also in general housing construction.

Social Trends: The Importance of Barrier-free(accessible) Design

In recent years, with the progression of an aging society and increased social participation of people with disabilities, the importance of barrier-free(accessible) design has been growing. The installation of handheld showers in accommodation facilities is an important element in creating a comfortable and easy-to-use environment for all users, not just the elderly or those with disabilities.

This standard also aligns with the concept of “Universal Design”. Universal Design aims to create designs that can be used by as many people as possible, regardless of age or ability. Handheld showers, with their flexibility and ease of use, are a prime example of Universal Design.


The standard of installing handheld showers in accommodation bathrooms might seem trivial at first glance. However, behind this standard lies a grand ideal of aiming for a society where everyone can live comfortably.

The next time you have the opportunity to use a hotel or inn, try paying attention to the type of shower. It might be interesting to look for barrier-free(accessible) features there as well.

Barrier-free(accessible) design is not just for specific people, but for all of us. It’s these small considerations that add up to create a society where everyone can live comfortably.

Barrier-free(accessible) Design Leading to Corporate Profits

Here, we’ve explained the necessity of barrier-free(accessible) design.

The spread of barrier-free(accessible) design is essential for everyone to lead a safe and comfortable life. However, there are many challenges to its realization due to the costs involved. On the other hand, barrier-free(accessible) ideas born from the perspective of people with disabilities have the potential to not only make society more convenient for everyone but also bring significant economic benefits to companies.

A prime example of this is the “lighter”. Born from the simple wish of a person with limited use of one hand who thought, “Matches are difficult because you need both hands to light a fire. If only there was something that could light a fire easily with one hand…”, lighters have been loved worldwide and generated enormous profits.

This is a good example of how responding to the needs of people with disabilities can lead to the creation of products that are easy for everyone to use, bringing economic benefits to companies.

Lahainas LLC and the NPO Japan Disability Idea Association are working on creating mechanisms to connect such ideas from people with disabilities to businesses.

Barrier-free(accessible) design is a very important initiative that combines social contribution with economic potential. We hope that more companies and individuals will become interested in barrier-free(accessible) design and actively work towards its realization in the future.

Note: Please confirm accurate information on the websites of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (Japan) or relevant agencies in each country.