Did you know that Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo once had an observation deck? In 1971, on the land that had just become known as West Shinjuku, alone stands our hotel as the first skyscraper and high-rise hotel in Japan. Opening ahead of the hotel’s official business opening was the observation deck on the highest level, the 47th floor of the main building. Having never seen a view from 170 meters above ground, it gained tremendous popularity; it was said that the queue stretched all the way to Shinjuku station. Six months after opening, the number of visitors was estimated to exceed 1 million, and 4.15 million in the first five years.
With the relocation of The Tokyo Metropolitan Government in 1991, the floor that many have enjoyed as an observation deck was renovated and made into a banquet room to meet the demands for official conferences. Themed after the daytime sky, the banquet rooms had names like “Akebono”(dawn), “Aozora”(blue sky), and “Asahi”(morning sun), which are still being used for our banquet rooms today. These names are filled with our ambitions and hopes as the first high-rise hotel in Japan.
In 1994, the first in-hotel karaoke room in Tokyo, “Karaoke 47” was opened on the same floor. In 2015, after a complete renewal, a banquet room foyer was created where one would be able to enjoy the breathtaking view the moment they step out of the elevator. The former “sky terrace” that was bustling with guests, is now a place for international conferences filled with guests from all over the world.
At the time of opening, one would not have imagined that the once barren grounds of West Shinjuku would become the skyscraper forest it is today. Even though the view today is different from the view in 1971, the beauty of the sky that can be enjoyed 170 meters off the ground is one of the “omotenashi" of Keio Plaza Hotel.
*Omotenashi - Japanese hospitality