In the 1970s, hotels were seen mainly as an accommodation for travelers or frequented only by a limited number of people for special occasions. We wanted to become a “plaza for all”; a space where people of all ages, nationalities, and races can come and go. Many unique events were born out of this philosophy, leaving an impression on the history of our hotel.
We have held a series of surprisingly unique and memorable events, especially from our opening in the 1970s to the 1980s. In 1971, Keio Plaza Hotel launched a new event held on New Year's Eve, "Joya no Kane*”, where a bell tower was built by the poolside on the 7th floor along with a traditional sacred bell borrowed from a Buddhist temple. Guests were able to participate by striking the bell themselves and it quickly became a popular year-end event that lasted for several years.
On Children's Day in 1973, a festival of balloons carrying flower seeds were released from the rooftop on the 47th floor by guests and hotel staff, creating an unforgettable moment for all. Its success created a sensation and drew attention from the media.
In the 1982 Austria Tyrol Fair, a 25-meter-long slope was specially set up on the terrace on the 4th floor of the main building to hold a “Special Ski Workshop”. Defying the norm and creating a slope in the hotel was an attempt unique to Keio Plaza Hotel demonstrating our pioneering spirit. There were also many other interesting events such as the vertical marathon and diving lessons at our Sky Pool. These events have attracted many guests over the years and established the image of Keio Plaza Hotel as a fun and enjoyable hotel.
From innovative events to fun-filled cultural events, we have sought to introduce foreign cultures along with traditional Japanese culture. We have always strived to create events that can put a smile on faces and move hearts. The “Plaza" philosophy has been passed down through generations and remains alive in our hospitality and creativeness up till today.
*Joya no Kane (除夜の鐘): Bell ringing at temples (of exactly 108 times) on New Year’s Eve is done to sweep away the old and welcome the new year. The 108 strikes represents the renunciation of the 108 earthly desires of human beings in order to start afresh in the next year.