Management Message

Shinji Kushiro

President and Representative Director Tsutomu Nagaoka reflects upon the past and present of the Tokyo Dome Group and discusses his vision for TOKYO DOME CORPORATION’s future as a “century-old company.”

We keep changing together with people and communities to be a “century-old company

President, Representative Director and COO
Tsutomu Nagaoka

Shinji Kushiro

The pioneering spirit present since our founding

Expanding our customer base by developing facilities in tune with times

Korakuen Stadium Co., Ltd., the predecessor of TOKYO DOME CORPORATION, was founded in 1936 to create a dedicated ballpark for professional baseball. Korakuen Stadium, which opened the following year, was transformed in 1988 into Tokyo Dome, an all-weather, multi-purpose stadium. Even after the transformation, the core mission of its business stays the same: We provide visitors with entertainment by safely operating facilities for large events mainly in Bunkyo Ward in the heart of Tokyo. Meanwhile, history of the Tokyo Dome Group shows that we have been evolving to lead the leisure industry over the ages.

At the time of its founding, it was mostly men that visited Korakuen Stadium to watch baseball. Visitors to Korakuen Velodrome and other such facilities built in the early years were also mostly men. Years later, in 1955, we opened the family-friendly Korakuen Amusement Park (currently TOKYO DOME CITY ATTRACTIONS), but we could not go further into developing facilities aimed at female customers. It was 2003 when we opened Spa LaQua, which offers relaxing space targeted mainly at women. In actuality, we initially expected more men to use Spa LaQua at night than women because it opens from daytime to 9:00 a.m. in the following morning. On the contrary, Spa LaQua attracted many women working at night before they go back home from work, so that the proportions of men and women visitors to Spa LaQua at night were roughly equal. As such, Spa LaQua adapted to changes in urban demographics and lifestyles. This has led Spa LaQua to win popularity and consequently succeed as an integrated commercial entertainment facility.

Tokyo Dome City, a “town” that a wide range of demographic groups can enjoy

The 2010s saw the continuation of the development of facilities in Tokyo Dome City aimed at a broad range of demographic groups. In 2011, we opened ASOBono!, one of the largest kids indoor entertainment facilities in the Tokyo metropolitan area. We launched the TeNQ Space Museum in 2014 and Gallery AaMo, a multipurpose gallery for adults, in 2017, both as cultural facilities.

At the root of the facility development is the notion that Tokyo Dome City is a “town” itself. Our Group has expanded neighboring facilities with the core of our business being the provision of sports content, namely baseball. At first, we channeled these facilities into different customer segments individually. However, as we gradually came to the idea of getting people to enjoy Tokyo Dome City as a contiguous, integrated “town,” we added elements meant for a broader customer base to enhance functions of the “town.”

Having developed TOKYO DOME CITY ATTRACTIONS, which can be enjoyed by everyone from students to adults, TOKYO DOME HOTEL, which can be used for many purposes, and LaQua, which is geared toward women in their 20s and 30s, we set our sights on facilities for children. Despite the low birth rate in Japan, the number of children in Bunkyo Ward and surrounding areas are on the rise. In this respect, ASOBono! was built out of the desire to ― through childhood playful experience ― create future repeat visitors. We did not stop there: We worked to expand cultural facilities in Tokyo Dome City that are unrelated to sports amusement. As a result, we have developed a unique space museum called TeNQ, as well as Gallery AaMo.

The development of the diverse “town” has also helped utilize a wide range of human resources such as hiring women who have experience raising children.

Current Challenges

Open community development to convey the appeal of the 2-km radius zone from Tokyo Dome

From our founding to the present, the greatest advantage of the Group has lied in location, which will hold true in the future too. Although we have some difficulties to be addressed such as city-planned park regulations, the fundamental strategy of the Tokyo Dome Group is to expand upon and evolve the entertainment value provided by Tokyo Dome City, namely our event-holding capabilities and strengths in our facilities, and at the same time maximize the advantages of location in attracting customers while staying on top of trends in society and our customers.

At present, in order to create value for next generation, we have implemented our five-year medium-term management plan called Shin-Kijiku “Innovation,” which began in the fiscal year ended January 31, 2017. We are successfully proceeding with the measures in the plan. Indeed, we retired outstanding interest-bearing debt ahead of schedule, which was one of the four management goals for the fiscal year ended January 31, 2019.

The first action plan in the Shin-Kijiku “Innovation” sets out: “We will work on developing the environment for the sustained creation of value at Tokyo Dome City into the future.” We have already completed the renovation of Tokyo Dome and Spa LaQua as part of our 80th anniversary commemorative project. Also as part of the project, we opened two new attractions in the Geopolis area of TOKYO DOME CITY ATTRACTIONS: Panic coaster “Back Daaan” and 3D shooting “Gan Gun Battlers.” Moreover, driven by increasing domestic and international visitors to Tokyo Dome City, in March 2019 we opened “FIRST CABIN Tokyo Dome City,” a hotel with the concept of low-cost, compact, and luxury. We are aware of the importance of making effective use of our “hard” assets as well as marketing in such a way that sells not the individual facilities of Tokyo Dome City but its appeal as a “town” going forward.

Part of that effort includes a website “Stroll Tips” launched to communicate attractive local information of the 2 km radius area from Tokyo Dome. In recent years, places in and around Tokyo Dome have continuously worked to eliminate barriers to comings and goings. In light of this, our aim is not to corral customers into facilities of our Group, but to encourage visitors to enjoy Jinbocho, Kagurazaka, Hakusan, Yushima, and other neighboring areas while also stopping by Tokyo Dome City. In doing so, we hope to continue growth while maintaining win-win relationships with neighboring communities.

Main efforts ongoing during the Shin-Kijiku “Innovation” plan period

Initiative Duration
Massive renovation of Tokyo Dome 3 years from January 2016
Establishment of Tokyo Dome Group Education Center February 2016
Start of offering Audio guide Q July 2016
Start of Stroll Tips website September 2016
Opening of CuBAR LOUNGE March 2017
Establishment of Marketing Division April 2017
Implementation of Incident Information Management System April 2017
Opening of Gallery AaMo April 2017
Opening of Crème et Rouge April 2017
Renovation of Spa LaQua October 2017
Multilingual localization of official website January 2018
Start of Tokyo Dome Online Baseball Academy April 2018
Nationwide Local Cuisine Fair in Kagawa Prefecture April 2018
Relocation of Offt Kourakuen and opening of LOUNGE SEVEN June and July 2018
Start of Hi!EVERYVALLEY March 2019
Opening of FIRST CABIN Tokyo Dome City March 2019
Opening of panic coaster “Back Daaan” and 3D shooting “Gan Gun Battlers” in TOKYO DOME CITY ATTRACTIONS March 2019

ATAMI BAY RESORT KORAKUEN, where guests fully relish the savor of Atami

In March 2019, the Tokyo Dome Group refurbished Atami Korakuen Hotel, which started operation in 1965, and reopened it as ATAMI BAY RESORT KORAKUEN, a resort complex combining a hotel, spa, restaurants and food market. Our Atami business makes use of the same area marketing approach as Tokyo Dome City represented by partnership with Atami City in deploying the Odekake Atami (“Go Out to Atami”) campaign. Traditionally, hotels in hot spring resorts focused on offering accommodations and corralled group and family guests in the auxiliary facilities of hotels to generate profits. At the new ATAMI BAY RESORT KORAKUEN, however, we have broadened our targets to include all tourists visiting the Atami area, including those on a day trip, with the establishment of a new hotel “AQUA SQUARE” designed to meet all kinds of accommodation needs, “Ocean Spa Fuua,” one of the largest day-trip hot springs in Atami, and “IZU-ICHI,” a collection of restaurants and markets where visitors can enjoy ingredients from the Izu region. The business in Atami cost us 11.0 billion yen in total. ATAMI BAY RESORT KORAKUEN expects 130 thousand visitors to the hotels and 250 thousand to the hot spring facilities for its first year.

Because Atami Korakuen Hotel specialized in meeting the needs of its guests, one issue with ATAMI BAY RESORT KORAKUEN is that it must enhance the level of all sorts of value-added services, such as assisting day-trip guests in sightseeing the city of Atami, and this is indeed a new challenge as well. We will cooperate with other facilities in Atami to increase the number of visitors to Atami and help revitalize the community. We are sure that such efforts will steadily lead to the growth and development of the Tokyo Dome Group.

Odekake Atami (“Go Out to Atami”)

In order to communicate the appeal of current Atami, the Odekake Atami campaign employs as its ambassador Anne Nakamura, who is popular with the main target audience of women in their late 20s and 30s. The campaign releases videos showcasing landmarks, shopping streets, walk-and-eat food, and facilities that represent Atami via the Odekake Atami campaign website and social media.

Utilizing knowledge amassed at Tokyo Dome City business externally

The Tokyo Dome Group capitalizes on knowledge gained through the Tokyo Dome City business to use it externally in a range of ways.

Throughout the year, Tokyo Dome City hosts major events such as sports games, concerts, and a variety of conventions. It boasts the prominent number of visitors compared to other peers in the industry in Japan, with the 2019 results of Furusato Festival Tokyo 2019 attracting 424,000 people, Tokyo International Quilt Festival 210,000, Tableware Festival 275,000, and the Japan Grand Prix International Orchid and Flower Show 2019 136,000. There are also a growing number of cases in which content produced by the Tokyo Dome Group develops externally in and outside Japan. Such cases in recent years include, domestically, the ISETAN Tableware Festival and Nationwide Local Cuisine Fair, which materialized in partnership with a department store. Internationally, we produced a Nationwide Regional Domburi Competition in Hong Kong. People highly appraise the contents of the events held at Tokyo Dome City, which has nearly unrivaled ability to attract guests, because the events are easier to draw in more guests even when held outside Tokyo Dome City. As a result, we receive a lot of inquiries about our contents from regional department stores.

Furthermore, the Tokyo Dome Group boasts a solid track record in the public-private partnership business (PPP business) over the years to operate public facilities such as sports centers. The knowledge and experience we have gained through the safe operation and administration of facilities and event planning are rated highly by local governments wishing to provide high-quality administrative services. In the fiscal year ended January 31, 2019, we contracted to operate 211 facilities in 34 projects with 24 governments.

Going forward, the Tokyo Dome Group will continue to keep Tokyo Dome City―one of the most valuable locations in Japan―as its home base, and leverage that advantage to develop its track record in both hard and soft sides. At the same time, it will use the knowledge in collaborations with domestic and overseas partners, regional governments, and other external organizations to strengthen its profitability.

Looking to the future

Group-wide human resource development and appropriate human resource allocation

At present and going forward, the real key to the development and growth of the Tokyo Dome Group is the continuous development of human resources. We are particularly in need of human resources having real, solid abilities. For example, we are now in an era when Tokyo Dome City staff members deal with non-Japanese customers on a daily basis and therefore we have already implemented globalization and universalization measures on the hard side by providing multilingual site maps and official websites as well as by selling and utilizing a multilingual audio app Audio guide Q. Nevertheless, it is the soft side, or the employees working on the front line, that matters in the end. It is our desire to train employees so that they can think for themselves, involve those around them, and take an initiative in their work, instead of working as if they are cogs in a machine.

Tokyo Dome City has many types of jobs even on a non-consolidated basis. We rotate people according to a regular job rotation system so that all employees will gain an overall picture of our businesses. We will further facilitate Group-wide personnel exchange in the future. Against the backdrop of Japan’s low birth rate and labor shortages, the Tokyo Dome Group faces the problem of a labor shortage in some of the fields in which it operates, such as hotel management and facilities management. Going forward, we must take a Group-wide view to identify divisions that require labor-saving and streamlining efforts through mechanization and automation and divisions that need more employees, and to redistribute our human resources accordingly.

Providing safety and security, our greatest strength and our biggest societal role

Since our founding, the principal subject in the Group has always been how to ensure safety and security of our customers. In the wake of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, and heading into the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, we have been putting even more effort into implementing safety-related systems, including practical disaster- and crime-prevention education and training as well as anti-terrorism measures.

We are currently implementing safety patrols designed to check the safety of facilities within Tokyo Dome City from visitors’ perspectives, preparing manuals to instruct employees on dealing with all sorts of risks, and holding major drills and training using Tokyo Dome City. We have also established the Tokyo Dome Group Education Center to reinforce hospitality and provide specialized seminars and lectures in safety management for Group employees. Furthermore, our departments conduct approximately 2,000 drills per year based on various risks and scenarios, including disaster prevention and fire drills, dealing with people having trouble returning home in the event of a disaster, or responding to the J-Alert nationwide warning system.

Moreover, our Safety Promotion Office has led efforts to create a database consisting of incident information such as instances of trouble, “close call” and “near miss” that have occurred within the Group and cases of accidents/disasters from companies outside the Group. The database is currently used to share information. There are plans to systematically organize the safety and security measures, including those that are preventative in nature.

The Tokyo Dome Group’s distinctive safety management systems serve as the foundations for running our businesses in a stable manner and as our great strength. Now that society as a whole indispensably requires advanced disaster- and crime-prevention measures, we are considering providing education and training for a fee or for free as a matter of our Group’s social responsibility. In the future, we will look into the possibility of turning safety and security related services into businesses as we establish our incident information systems.

We will forge a reliable path to becoming a “century-old company”

In terms of ESG management, because Tokyo Dome City is home to facilities that consume large amounts of energy―most notably Tokyo Dome itself―we were early adopters of various environmental and anti-global warming measures such as community central air-conditioning systems. In addition, every year we exceed by wide margins the statutory reduction values for greenhouse gases mandated by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, thanks to the fact that we have upgraded to efficient air conditioning equipment and LED lighting and have implemented management systems aimed at visualizing the amount of energy we consume.

In the area of risk management, we have changed the rules of the Risk Management Committee and shifted to Group-based risk management system. We are continuing to proactively hire diverse human resources in our organization, which includes front lines and the Board of Directors, in addition to strengthening our corporate governance.

Since the Tokyo Dome Group operates large-scale facilities, it is essential that we formulate and execute plans not over the short-term but over the medium-term. In our quest to become a “century-old company” that can create sustainable corporate value, we will continue steadily implementing the eight action plans that are part of the Shin-Kijiku “Innovation” medium-term management plan. We hope that our stakeholders will watch over the Tokyo Dome Group as we head along the path to sustainable growth over the medium- and long-term.