TOKYO -The Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo(KPH), one of Japan’s most prestigious international hotels located in Shinjuku, Tokyo, will be celebrating our 50th anniversary in 2021. As a hotel that welcomes guests from around the world and offer services close to your heart, “Feature 100” will present 100 mini-stories hidden behind our hospitality.
VOL.001 A Piece of Hospitality - The Story Behind Our Windows
In 1971, Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo was born in Central Tokyo, Shinjuku, as Japan’s first skyscraper hotel. At the time, the view from the hotel windows was one of the biggest parts of our hospitality. The windows were created with our hopes, dreams and deepest sincerity. The wide windows, starting at knee height, were meticulously designed to ensure that each room gets to bask in bright sunlight.
The spaciousness that the wide windows provide was designed with the “one room, one sun” concept, and was very important to us. Even now, this concept is cherished and being carried on into our guest rooms and lounges. Our guests can enjoy the dynamic panorama view overlooking Tokyo from 160 meters above ground at our Sky Lounge, Aurora. From daylight to night, please come and enjoy the ever-changing scenery of the dramatic cityscape together with our gourmet meals and delectable cocktails.
VOL.021 Resetting Standards, Legendary Cocktail “Celebration”
Nestling sweet and tangy strawberry liquor into champagne, “Celebration” is an elegant cocktail that gloriously reflects the vivaciousness of life and new beginnings. Loved by guests for over 30 years, this Keio Plaza Hotel original cocktail was created in 1986 and won “The 15th HBA (Japan Hotel Bar Men’s Association) Creative Cocktail Competition”. Behind this cocktail is the hidden story of an intensely passionate bartender. His name is Kazuya Watanabe.
During that time, filling the glass at the end with champagne was the standard style for champagne cocktails, yet on stage, Watanabe first filled his glass with champagne before adding the complimenting touches from his shaker. His innovative method raised concerned and caused a stir amongst the audience. “Did he make a mistake?” However, when the complimenting touches were added into his glass, it lifted the bubbles of the champagne, creating a beautifully mixed cocktail. The concern amongst the audience turned into awe and praise, thus bringing about this new style of creating champagne cocktails. Kazuya Watanabe’s cocktail was created with the keyword of “Celebration” to celebrate the milestone of Keio Plaza Hotel’s 15th anniversary since opening. Till today, this elegant cocktail, which reset the standards in 1986, celebrates guests’ happy and celebratory moments.
VOL. 022 Imperial Suite Room - Like an Art Museum
Located on the 41st floor of Keio Plaza Hotel’s main building, the Imperial Suite Room was designed by Isamu Kenmochi, who is known as the pioneer of Japanese interior design. Together with his self-produced furniture and fixtures, as well as artwork from distinguished artists, till today Kenmochi’s original design is being kept, as it was first created.
In the spacious living room, the first piece of artwork to captivate one’s attention is the 6-panel Yayoi Japanese folding screen by the well-known Master of Japanese painting, Matazo Kayama. Kayama created this original piece of work after Kenmochi’s words; “Art from the Momoyama period is the hallmark of Japanese decorative art techniques. This is world-class art.” With other works like, Kiichi Sumikawa’s Woodwork art “Peacock” and Isamu Noguchi’s “AKARI” in the living room, Hiroshi Awatsuji’s Tapestry art in the lounge area, Toko Shinoda’s Ink wash painting, Yusuke Aida’s Ceramic art “Pipe”, and Jyoichi Yamamoto’s Bronze sculpture “Shigi” in the parlor, and Ryoichi Shigeta’s abstract painting in the bedroom. Art from various genres featured as an essential part of the interior design representing Japan back in those days can also be found carefully displayed around the suite. The Imperial Suite Room’s “Japanese Modern” design, harmonizes elements from the East and West, and is as luxurious as a museum. It is a unique space that speaks of the hotel’s history through distinguished art and design.
VOL. 30 The History of Hotel Weddings Began With “Plaza Chapel”
Dressed in pure white, a bride’s father slowly leads her down the wedding aisle by her side. Warm blessings from the guests fill up the chapel. These days, in-hotel chapels might be the norm, but it all began from Keio Plaza Hotel.
In September 1975, Keio Plaza Hotel became the first hotel to have a permanent built-in wedding chapel, “Plaza Chapel”. At a time where one could only hold a church wedding ceremony at churches and cathedrals, the opening of an in-hotel chapel created a milestone in the history of weddings in Japan. Sensing a rise of demand for church weddings, and taking the possibility of poor weather, the comfort of guests, as well as the convenience of elderly guests into consideration, “Plaza Chapel” was born.
The majestic and classic atmosphere that has been loved ever since its opening, “Plaza Chapel” has watched over countless precious vows being exchanged. A space filled with soft lighting and elegant warm wood settings, the sounds of the organ and cello resonates beautifully throughout. “Plaza Chapel” is a witness in the history of hotel weddings and this classic chapel continues to charm many guests till this day.
Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo, located in Shinjuku at the very heart of the nation’s capital Tokyo, is one of Japan’s leading international hotels. Our hotel boasts of over 15 restaurants and bars, and we host a wide range of local and international guests who visit us for our welcoming facilities, warm hospitality and unique services that allow them to experience Japanese culture, including ourwedding kimono fitting experience,tea ceremony,ikebana experienceandmany others. For more information about our facilities and services, please visit ourwebsite,YouTube,FacebookorInstagram.
Contacts: Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo, Public Relations Manager
Keiko Kawashima, +81-3-5322-8010 firstname.lastname@example.org