TOKYO TORCH is a new town being developed in the Tokiwabashi area in front of Tokyo Station. The first project, Tokiwabashi Tower, was completed in June 2021. Tokyo Century relocated its Specialty Financing segment to Tokiwabashi Tower in May 2023 and began operations on the 22nd floor as part of its efforts to improve and enhance the Company’s office environment.
Please click here to see Tokyo Century’s Tokiwabashi office.
In this article, we asked Ms. Yokoi, who was designated by Mitsubishi Estate Co., Ltd., the developer of the TOKYO TORCH project and a partner of Tokyo Century, to share her thoughts about the development of Tokiwabashi Tower, an office building with an enriched working environment.
Next-Generation Office with Convenient Access to the Entire Building Using a Smartphone App
――Could you provide a brief overview of the Tokyo Tokiwabashi Project and your role in it?
The Tokyo Tokiwabashi Project is being developed by Mitsubishi Estate in the Tokiwabashi area in front of Tokyo Station in collaboration with various business partners. The redevelopment is named TOKYO TORCH. The 38-story Tokiwabashi Tower, completed in 2021, and Torch Tower, scheduled for completion in fiscal 2027, will be the centerpieces of this area.
The project is in Tokiwabashi, a historic district that once flourished as a gateway to Edo Castle and currently plays a similar role as an entrance into Tokyo, where Otemachi, Marunouchi, Yaesu, and Nihonbashi meet. The Tokyo Tokiwabashi Project was launched with the goal of highlighting Tokiwabashi as a place for communicating the nation’s charms while at the same time brightening and energizing Japan by providing experiences that satisfy the respective life stages of every generation in this era of 100-year lifespans.
My own role in this project is the development and operational management of the entire TOKYO TORCH district, and my main mission is to manage assets for improving the operation of Tokiwabashi Tower in particular.
――What is the concept of Tokiwabashi Tower, the location of Tokyo Century’s office?
It’s a next-generation office, and the TOKYO TORCH App for Tokiwabashi Tower is a smartphone app for workers that promotes DX by facilitating more convenient access to the entire building.
With the app, workers can enter the building by simply holding their smartphones over the security gate as a contactless mobile admission pass, place and pay for orders at MY Shokudo—a cafeteria lounge exclusively for workers on the third floor—reserve conference rooms, and even have coffee delivered to their office from the workers-only lounge on the eighth floor.
This is our first attempt to introduce a building-specific app like this. If it works well, we plan to introduce it at Torch Tower too, which is scheduled for completion in fiscal 2027.
Maintaining Close Communication for Feedback from Tenant Companies
――What has been the response of tenant companies to the building?
We conducted two surveys last year, targeting workers at Tokiwabashi Tower. This was the first building to have a cafeteria lounge, and we received a lot of comments indicating that workers were satisfied with that and the café as well. On the other hand, we’ve also identified several areas for improvement and are now making changes to better operate the building.
For feedback from tenant companies, which we use in properly managing the building, we try to communicate with them on a daily basis—with questionnaires like this one, for instance.
――Which specific parts of Tokiwabashi Tower do you personally recommend?
I recommend the workers-only lounge on the eighth floor. Having this kind of shared space, separate from the Company’s office, is refreshing and helps people work more efficiently. The variety of spaces on the floor is great for clearing your mind, just by sitting in different spots. And it’s also nice to feel relaxed as you work, every now and again taking in the artwork on display or the outside scenery.
The tenant companies basically select the interior design for their office floor, and we’re responsible for their overall floor plans in line with their preferences. I visited Tokyo Century’s office several times for meetings and feel that its arched entrance is quite appealing and reminiscent of the Company’s corporate logo.
Encouraging Interaction among Tenant Companies by Holding Events and Other Activities
――What else are you working on?
Even as teleworking is becoming more and more common around the world, we’re exploring a variety of ways to enhance the office building environment so that workers feel like coming to work.
For example, we regularly hold events to encourage interaction among tenant companies. We also organized Sports Day for workers again this year. Some staff from foreign-affiliated companies had fun with the beanbag toss and long rope jumping for the first time in their lives, and the event was a great success. Also, I heard some companies held a party at MY Shokudo on the third floor after Sports Day.
This level of interaction and communication among tenant companies is rarely seen in other office buildings, so I feel that their employees will be encouraged to continue working in this building. There are shared spaces, such as the lounge and cafeteria lounge, so they have lots of chances to meet up with people they’ve met before in the building. This makes it easier to build relationships.
――What do you expect from Tokyo Century as a business partner in the Tokyo Tokiwabashi Project?
Tokyo Century is not only a major business partner in the Tokyo Tokiwabashi Project but also a tenant in Tokiwabashi Tower.
Tokyo Century is currently our only business partner in the Tokyo Tokiwabashi Project that’s also a tenant in the tower. Since you work in the tower every day, you’ve surely noticed many things about the building. So in the future, I’d like to hear your thoughts as both a tenant and a Tokyo Tokiwabashi Project partner.
I’m grateful that the offices in Tokiwabashi Tower are now fully occupied, by around 9,000 workers. Torch Tower is scheduled for completion in fiscal 2027, and I’d be very happy if the combined impact of the tower and entire Tokiwabashi district is the enlivening of the TOKYO TORCH area community.
TOKYO TORCH Development Department, Mitsubishi Estate Co., Ltd.
Joined the Company in 2022. In the TOKYO TORCH Development Department, she is engaged in the operation and management of Tokiwabashi Tower, completed in 2021, and the planning of Torch Tower, scheduled for completion in fiscal 2027 as the tallest building in Japan. She is also engaged in the redevelopment part of the TOKYO TORCH project.
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