Friday, December 30, 2011

1961 Ginza Tokyu Hotel guest booklet

True story: Much to my chagrin, I don't do much advance planning for these blog entries. Although I have absolutely no shortage of items to write about, I need for inspiration to strike me when I'm in my daily researching/writing window.

This morning, before getting online, I was trying to brainstorm something to write about. One good possibility I came up with was a 50-year-old Japanese hotel guest booklet, which serves as a companion piece to a postcard I wrote about way back in February.

But I hadn't really made my final decision until I came downstairs and logged into Blogger. I found that I had one new reader comment overnight:

Dear Chris
Hi,This is Tanaka from Tokyo.
Ginza Tokyu Hotel was a hotel in Ginza, Tokyo.
Built in 1960, the 10 storey hotel was initially the only 4-star hotel.
It closed in May 2001.
Well, I know a sign when I see one!

So here is today's ephemera post, with an assist from Tanaka, who -- by the way -- also has a marvelous ephemera blog, called Hotel Stationery. Although it's a Japanese-language blog, you can still check out all the wonderful images of paper from around the world.

1961 Ginza Tokyu Hotel guest booklet

This 64-page staplebound booklet measures 3⅝ inches wide by 5 inches deep. It contains everything that a guest of the Ginza Tokyu Hotel would have needed to know in 1961, plus a fold-out color sightseeing map of Tokyo in the center.

(My great-grandmother, Greta, received and saved this booklet when she was a guest there.)

The message on the first page of the booklet states:
Dear Guest:

It is with great pleasure that we welcome you to the GINZA TOKYU HOTEL. Our aim is to render your stay with us as comfortable and pleasant as possible.

In order to help us achieve our objective, we will greatly appreciate receiving any constructive criticism or suggestions you may have to offer.

We wish you a happy and enjoyable stay at the GINZA TOKYU HOTEL.
The page with the hotel rates notes that the 1961 dollar-to-yen rate of exchange was $1 = ¥360.

Single-room rates ranged from ¥1,800 to ¥2,200. Japanese-style rooms were ¥3,500 or ¥5,000. And the most expensive room was a deluxe double suite costing ¥20,000.


Here are some of the highlights of the descriptions of the hotel's amenities:
  • Main Dining Room: "The Main Dining Room is decorated with the handwoven brocade masterpiece by the world-famed ShikĊ Munakata. Dinner music from 6 p.m. every evening."
  • Top of Ginza (Roof Garden Restaurant): "During the summer months, serves cold buffet and beer on the roof garden, 11 stories above Ginza, affording and unexcelled panoramic night view of Tokyo."
  • Ginza Snack (Main Floor): "Serves light lunches, late night snacks, soft drinks. Open: 24 hours a day. Quick service. Popular prices. This snack restaurant provides a 'Picnic Lunch' for ¥600."
  • Cocktail Lounge (Main Lobby): "A favorite Rendez-Vous spot. Serves a wide variety of hard and soft drinks. Enjoy our soothing music and soft drinks in our lobby."
  • Baby Sitter: "Available from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., ¥100 an hour."
  • Golf Practice Range (Roof): "A golf practice range is available, free of charge. Call the Information Desk for golf clubs, balls, etc."
  • TV Sets For Rent: "Available at ¥300 a day."
  • Important Requests: "Did you know? That many fires are caused by careless people smoking in bed. That dogs and pets disturb the comfort of others and sometimes cause considerable damage. That it is customary in Tokyo, and much more comfortable, to wear a jacket in public at all times. Our exception is the GINZA SNACK which is as casual as any coffee shop."
  • Masseur, Masseuse: "Available by appointment from 6 a.m. to midnight, ¥500 an hour."
  • Arcade: The hotel's arcade (map pictured at right) was open year round from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. (See below for some of the advertisements for stores in the arcade.)
  • Shika Odoshi: "Shika Odoshi or deer alarm is placed in the Main Lobby near the Cocktail Lounge. The bamboo tube hits the stone at regular intervals when it fills with water. This alarm is used for the purpose of frightening deer away."
  • Wedding Hall (2nd Floor): "This authentic Japanese Wedding Hall is complete with beauty parlor, ceremonial dresses for rent and photo studio. The Tokyu Travel Service will also arrange your honeymoon trip."


LEFT: Yoshii Drug Store, selling Lederle's Achromycin and Stresscaps. RIGHT: Saito Barber Shop.

Tokyo Chiyoda Electric Co Ltd., featuring its "world famous transistor radio."

LEFT: The "Foreigners' Feasting Paradise" at Suehiro restaurant. RIGHT: Kimonos for sale at Sakura Co., Ltd.

LEFT: The Aoki Clinic and Hospital, which has a specialist in "Inner Diseases." RIGHT: Kirin Beer, Japan's "Top Selling Beer."

Suntory whisky (Bill Murray not included)

1 comment:

  1. You may find it interesting to learn of the basis of the $1/¥360 exchange rate which was in effect from 1949 to 1971: The word for the Japanese currency (pronounced "en" in the native tongue but which we transliterate as "yen") could mean "money" or "circle" in various contexts -- try typing "yen" into Google Translate -- and there are 360 degrees in a circle.

    Also see:

    -- M.F.-san