What a difference! What Ginza looked like without Sony Building
Sony Building opened in April 1966. In the 40 years since, it has become a Ginza landmark, Sony's information hub and a community spot. Renewed last June, it is now the symbol of the fully HD Sony.
The appearance of the Sony Building radically transformed the Ginza landscape. The photo dates back to before the Sony Building went up. The history of Sony and Ginza goes back further, to when Sony put up a neon sign in 1957. Two years later, Sony also opened a small showroom, the forerunner to the Sony Building. The site was ideal and attracted many customers to the numerous new products. But the showroom became too small for the expanded company.
The Sony Building opening press release says that Sony wanted to stay in the same spot and were lucky to secure a plot of 700 sq meters. Morita-san, who was the deputy president back then, oversaw the project and one of his ideas was to take suggestions from employees on three shops to open in the building. The 7th floor Italian restaurant (today, Sabatini of Florence), the B2F American-style drugstore and the coffee shop on the ground floor (today, Pub Cardinal). Unfortunately, none of the employee ideas were selected but it was a neat idea that shows how much the founders cared about employees.