Sky Plaza Ibasho opens in Shinjuku.

Tokyo is an amazing city from just about any angle, but it’s especially impressive wen viewed from above, high up enough that you can get a sense of its massive scale. So when we heard that a new sky lounge had just opened up in downtown, we were eager to check it out, and sent our ace reporter Mr. Sato out into the field.

We didn’t have to send him too far, since Sky Plaza Ibasho is part of the Keio Plaza Hotel in Tokyo’s Shinjuku neighborhood, on the opposite side of Shinjuku Station from SoraNews24 headquarters. It’s all the way up on the 47th floor, but thankfully there are express elevators that skip a lot of the floors in between.

The lounge operates on a time block system. On weekdays, access from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. is priced at 2,000 yen (US$13.15), and on weekends and holidays 2,500 yen. The nighttime block, from 5 to 10 p.m., is 5,000 on any day. You pay when entering (by credit card or QR e-money card only), and you’re given an access badge.

Sky Plaza Ibasho has over 230 seats split up into a number of different zones, some with a garden-like atmosphere or limited-time event spaces. On Mr. Sato’s visit, he took a seat in the Library Zone, which is outfitted with power outlets and USB ports for those looking to get some work or studying done (or just read SoraNews24) during their stay.

But as classy as the lounge looks, the real sights to see are outside the windows, since Sky Plaza Ibasho is 170 meters (558 feet) up in the sky, which gives it some great views of the city.

▼ This view is special for two reasons, since it’s a line of sight that hasn’t existed in decades because the Odakyu department store stood in the middle of it until very recently, and also because Shinjuku Alta, the building with the giant video monitor on its side, won’t be around much longer.

In addition to the breathtaking vistas and relaxing atmosphere, Sky Plaza Ibasho sweetens the deal with unlimited complimentary drinks. One of the self-serve machines is stocked with soft drinks from Suntory Drinks, including Pepsi, since Suntory is the cola brand’s local partner in Japan.

But the bigger beverage draw is the other machine, which dispenses Starbucks coffee!

While it doesn’t have Frappuccinos, you do have 23 different Starbucks drinks to choose from (12 hot and 11 cold), with espressos, cappuccinos, lattes with vanilla, hazelnut, and caramel accents, and hot and iced chocolate on offer.

With the weather in Tokyo these days sitting on that fine line between warm and cool, Mr. Sato started off with a hot espresso, then went back for an iced one for his second round after he’d finished it.

As he sipped, he spotted more landmarks out the windows, including the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building (a.k.a. “Tocho”)…

…and even the Tokyo Skytree.

With Starbucks coffees usually running about 500 to 600 yen, you’d have to drink four to come out ahead on the 2,000-yen entry fee for weekday afternoons. However, you are allowed to take one drink with you when you leave the lounge, so when you factor that in, the price seems pretty reasonable for a little slice of relaxation in the sky.

Location information
Sky Plaza Ibasho
Located at Keio Plaza Hotel Shinjuku / 京王プラザホテル新宿
Address: Tokyo-to, Shinjuku-ku, Nishi Shinjuku 2-2-1

Photos © SoraNews24
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