Engaging in Community Building of Kawasaki as the World’s First Hydrogen Hotel

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  • Toru Kawagishi
  • Takao Ohta
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  • KING SKYFRONT in Kawasaki City is being redeveloped as an open innovation center to create new industries through world-class research and development. This area is expected to create global businesses in the fields of health and medical care and drive Japan's growth strategy.

    The Kawasaki King Skyfront Tokyu REI Hotel serves as an exchange hub in the area. The hotel is vigorously pursuing initiatives to reduce its impact on the earth, such as using hydrogen power to generate about 30% of its energy consumption needs. Kawasaki Mayor Norihiko Fukuda and President of Tokyu Hotels Jun Murai discussed the role and future of KING SKYFRONT.

    FukudaKING SKYFRONT currently has more than 70 research and other facilities. I once visited an area in Singapore where research facilities are concentrated, and at that time I felt that a hub was needed where new industries could be created. Researchers and visitors from outside stay there and exchange opinions over meals, tea, and drinks. The interaction between people and between researches is the catalyst for innovation. Just when I was hoping for such a hub, Tokyu Hotels has created such a wonderful hotel. Moreover, they sympathize with Kawasaki Hydrogen Strategy for the Realization of a Hydrogen Society formulated by Kawasaki City in 2015, and are putting their efforts into achieving carbon neutrality. I am really grateful for that.

  • Norihiko Fukuda
    Mayor of Kawasaki City
    Born in Kawasaki, he attended elementary and junior high schools in the city.Due to his father's job transfer, he has lived in the U.S. since high school.He has served as Mayor of Kawasaki for three terms since 2013.

  • MuraiSince its opening in 2018, the hotel has been participating in the Ministry of the Environment's demonstration project, and has been working to reduce CO2 emissions as the world's first hydrogen hotel. I am grateful that we have been able to collaborate with companies in the area and become involved in community development and the businesses that are born in the community.

  • Jun Murai
    President and Representative Director
    Tokyu Hotels Co., Ltd.

  • FukudaHydrogen is invisible, so it is difficult to explain how it is helping people's lives. That is why a showcase like this hotel is very powerful. When I tell people that they can use the electricity generated by hydrogen energy to grow leaf lettuce and eat it in the hotel's restaurant, they understand. When I explain the Kawasaki Hydrogen Strategy in my lectures, I use this hotel's effort as a specific example.

Focusing on Environmental Education to Nurture the Next Generation

  • MuraiThe hydrogen power generation demonstration project at the hotel was temporarily terminated in March 2022, but we decided to continue it under a new system after 2023. In the future, it will become increasingly important to be chosen through consumption with an ethical focus with an awareness of "Earth-friendly, community-friendly, and people-friendly." To achieve this goal, we thought it essential to continue hydrogen power generation. Another reason for continuing the project is that many Kawasaki citizens are highly interested in hydrogen. We also want our children, who will lead the next generation, to learn more about the role of hydrogen.

    FukudaThat is important. Kawasaki City is focusing on environmental education. But the big challenge was what to do to get the children interested. Just then, we received a proposal to visit the hydrogen bus operated by Tokyu Bus and the hydrogen hotel for class. We asked them to let us work together.

    MuraiI would like children in Japan and around the world to experience the potential of hydrogen. Tamagawa Sky Bridge, a bridge connecting Haneda Airport and KING SKYFRONT directly, opened on March 12, 2022. We expect that access from overseas will improve and that KING SKYFRONT will continue to attract more attention. We look forward to continuing to take on new environmental challenges and communicate them both domestically and internationally.

    FukudaThe opening of the Tamagawa Sky Bridge has really shortened the distance between Kawasaki and Tokyo. I feel the relationship between Tokyo and Kawasaki is like that between Manhattan and Brooklyn. Tokyo has the urbanity, while Kawasaki has the humanity that has taken root in the city since long ago, and the space to develop new businesses like KING SKYFRONT. If Tokyo and Kawasaki can both take advantage of each other's characteristics and work toward the same goals, I expect that we can make a bigger appeal to the world.

    MuraiIn the era of the SDGs, connection and harmony are important. At Kawasaki King Skyfront Tokyu REI Hotel, we would also like to continue to advocate ethical slow life while maintaining harmony with the surrounding environment and nature.

    FukudaI often use this hotel not only for business, but also for personal use. Please continue to be a wonderful hotel and a base in KING SKYFRONT.