Tokyo Branch [Shibuya-ku (Shibuya City) , Tokyo]
In the beginning of the 21st century, Shibuya was nicknamed "Bit Valley" for the many information technology businesses located there.
This metropolitan subcenter is now attracting attention as a center for fashion and subculture.
It is also where Murata completed its Tokyo Branch building in 1999.
Housed in a Building that Evokes the Traditional Atmosphere of Japan's Ancient Capital Kyoto, the Branch Integrated Previous Murata Sites in the Tokyo Area to Increase the Company's Presence in East Japan
Completed in 1999, the Murata Tokyo Branch was the first office building constructed by the Company. Its features pay homage to the ancient capital of Kyoto, where Murata's Head Office is located. The building's features include lattice-style exterior walls of ceramic and a first-floor entrance that emphasizes wood to provide a feeling of warmth. The double-glazed glass windows reduce incoming sunlight and noise; and rainwater is collected and used for the greenery planted around the building and to ensure a supply of water for use in emergencies.
The Tokyo Branch integrated Murata sites in the Tokyo area under one roof to strengthen its sales and marketing capabilities in the area. Today, the building houses the Global Sales & Marketing Unit, which serves as the nerve center for domestic and overseas sales and marketing by collecting relevant information and providing information for prospective customers with the aim of supporting the development of new products. This major center not only oversees partnerships with customers and other external parties, but also works on joint research and development projects with universities and institutes in East Japan. In addition, it is responsible for securing human resources.
Located in Tokyo, the Branch has heightened Murata's profile throughout the country and has helped attract more job applicants from universities in East Japan.
Electronic Craft Workshops Now Available Throughout the Country Teaching Youngsters the Value of Engineering and the Pleasures of Science
As part of its community/social contribution activities, the Tokyo Branch has been conducting an "electronic craft workshop" program since October 2007. This educational program is designed to teach elementary school children in the 4th to 6th grades the value of engineering and the pleasures of scientific research while introducing them to electronic components–in the hope of fostering human resources with a scientific background for the future. Starting in August 2009, 2 regular workshops–in summer and winter–have been held every year, using teaching materials developed by the Tokyo Branch. A total of 6 events have been held so far, each attracting 24 groups of children, totaling more than 150.
Children can register themselves via science magazines for children or the official Murata website. Usually, the number of applicants reaches 1.5 to 2.5 times the workshop capacity, so participants are selected by lottery. In the workshop, the children use a Vibrating Alien & Tap-tap Remote Controller electronic craft kit specially developed by Murata engineers. They learn how to solder and use the tools needed to complete the project. At first, the children are somewhat afraid of the soldering iron and using screwdrivers and needle-nose pliers. By the end of the hour-and-a-half workshop, however, they have the confidence of seasoned professionals. Upon completion, the alien is put through a test run.
When tapped, the remote control sends out an infrared beam that signals the alien to move. The children have a great time and parents accompanying them also appreciate the program, calling the program unique because it teaches the children about electronic components and soldering—things that they couldn't teach them on their own. Others want to take kits with them to work on with their children at home. The Tokyo Branch recruits some 10 volunteers from within, including a teacher, engineering staff, called "doctors," who take care of technical problems, and instructors assigned to the workshop floor. In recent years, Murata has also been working on similar programs in collaboration with the Shibuya City Board of Education.
These workshops were held at the Science Center for Children Hachilabo, and filled to capacity just one hour after phone lines were opened up for registration. The electronic craft workshop program has been standardized and spread to Murata sites throughout the country as part of their community contribution activities.
Electronic Craft Workshops
Available primarily for children in the 4th to 6th grades, these workshops show them how to use screwdrivers, nippers, and soldering irons to assemble electronic craft kits. The Tokyo Branch first started the program in 2007.
Commercially available materials were used initially, but then replaced by a remote-control alien kit developed especially for the project by the Yokohama Technical Center in 2009. Including a shock sensor, capacitors, diodes, transistors, and small electric motors, this kit can be assembled in 1 to 2 hours. Tapping the side of the buttonless remote control activates an infrared sensor, which signals the alien to move.
Vibrating Alien & Tap-tap
"Task and Ambient" Concept Eliminates Energy Losses Creating New Business from a Market Perspective
Murata focuses on three promising growth markets: Environmental/energy technology, healthcare, and automobiles. The Tokyo Branch has started a unique initiative in the area of environmental/energy technology, aimed at creating a "task and ambient" task and ambient
The energy-saving concept combines ambient lighting with desk lights to ensure sufficient levels of light at specific work stations and reduce the lighting of the surrounding space. Introduced in northern Europe, it has long been unavailable in Japanese offices, where ceiling lights are usually employed to uniformly illuminate desktops. Murata has employed proprietary technologies to develop a fully automatic system.
It uses sensors to detect where people are, and automatically adapts the lighting in consideration of the level of incoming sunlight at any given time. To reduce energy waste, the system obtains data using sensor networking technology, an area in which Murata has great strength, and employs this information to control the lighting automatically to create an optimum lighting environment. The Tokyo Branch has renovated the 359m2 space on the 7th floor of its building by integrating 71 task lights and 30ambient lights into a sensor network.
The system is expected to recoup the cost of implementation in 6 years and achieve a cost reduction of approximately 1.5million yen over a decade. In addition, it substantially reduces the need for bulb replacement because all lights feature long-life LED technology. The Tokyo Branch will use this task and ambient lighting concept as a basis for strengthening business in the area of environmental/energy technology.
A clear difference from the traditional approach is that through the horizontal development of different proprietary technologies—including sensors, networking, power supplies, and programming, the system has been created from a new angle that differs significantly from the traditional approach to technology and products–with the new approach focusing on market needs. This advance would have been impossible without the initiative of sales and marketing personnel. From this point on, the Tokyo Branch will aggressively market this system to attract system integrators as well as manufacturers supplying lighting to housing companies.
The Center for Global Sales and Marketing Also Serves as a Point of Contact for Overseas Sites
The Tokyo Branch serves not only as a major center in East Japan, but also as a point of contact for overseas sites. For a company like Murata that achieves 85% of its net sales in overseas markets, subsidiaries operating outside Japan represent the sales frontier. Located in a major world city and housing the Global Sales and Marketing Unit, the Tokyo Branch is of critical importance in ensuring stable product supply to these affiliates. At the same time, it serves as a point of contact for visitors from abroad and as an interface for the Head Office in Kyoto. It plays a vital role as a center for global sales and marketing.
Shibuya, a City in the Nerve Center of Tokyo
Shibuya is one of "5 Central Cities of Tokyo" and the area around Shibuya Station is known as one of Tokyo's subcenters. The Harajuku/Omotesando area is famous as a fashion center, while Daikanyama and Ebisu are dominated by commercial facilities and fashion companies. In this way, Shibuya also represents a major source of information in Japan.
World City Tokyo
A "world city" is defined as a large city with a particularly high concentration of core world functions.
Highly regarded in many surveys, Tokyo stands along with New York, London, and Paris as a major world city.
The Greater Tokyo region boasts the highest gross domestic product (GDP) .
According to "World Cities with the Highest GDP," published by PwC, it is expected to maintain its leadership until 2025.
Passage Garden Shibuya
The redeveloped area around Shibuya Station was designed as a new business center to attract future-oriented corporations.
The land previously owned by the Japanese National Railways Settlement Corporation was sold in a building design competition bid.
The overall plans were developed by Rail City West Development Co., Ltd. and Nihon Sekkei, Inc.
With their stable business performance, all companies located in the area are visionary companies able to make the most of the geographical advantages offered by the location to the south of Shibuya Station.
Seven winning corporations, including Murata, are building a high-quality business environment by creating a uniform cityscape.
Science Center for Children Hachilabo
Science, technology, and math programs that offer extracurricular activities in the form of scientific experiments and club events are available in collaboration with universities, research institutions, and corporations.
Hachilabo was founded by the Shibuya municipal government to promote scientific thinking and interest in making things among children at municipal elementary and junior high schools.
Supporting this mission the Murata Tokyo Branch works with the municipal board of education to provide electronic craft workshops at Hachilabo.
Task and Ambient
"Task and ambient" represents a concept focused on the relationship between man and machine in an interior space.
In the area of lighting, the term "task" refers to desk lights. The lighting of Japanese offices has traditionally been dominated by ambient lighting, which is wasteful because it remains active regardless of whether the space is occupied or not.
The energy-saving concept introduces additional desk lighting to ensure sufficient levels of light at specific work stations.
In collaboration with Toda Corporation and Yamada Shomei Lighting Co., Ltd., Murata has built a lighting system that minimizes power consumption by combining sensor, communication, power supply technologies.