Nakano Sun Plaza
Sun Plaza, in the Tokyo locality of Nakano, is a hotel which incorporates a concert hall which features many Japanese and overseas acts. In its heyday, from the 1970s to the 1990s, it was regarded as one of the city's premier popular music venues, especially after some acoustic improvements in 1983 to assist with the audibility of applause for performers on stage.
Built in 1973 under a government-sponsored employment program, for more than 20 years it was publicly funded, but in 1995 the Japanese government decided that such venues would need to become self-supporting by 1999. In the period leading up to privatisation, the Sun Plaza underwent major renovations and improvements, some of which have continued since government funding ended.
Sun Plaza is a more intimate setting than many of the larger arenas, containing only 2,222 seats. It is known for its excellent acoustics and its management ensures that the very best sound systems are installed and updated. In 1997 a powerful Meyer Sound system from the US was installed, incorporating speaker arrays much larger than often installed in such a venue but intended to give greater sound quality without stressing the system's capabilities. Improved quality of seating was installed in 2002-03 to make the venue even more comfortable.
Sun Plaza also incorporates a wedding chapel and reception hall, and income from these facilities initially assisted the economic independence of the venue, though the wedding venue market has declined somewhat in recent years. Since privatization the Sun Plaza has also lost some popularity as a concert venue, with audiences and artists often preferring either smaller "live house" venues for more intimate performances, or the huge stadiums and arenas favoured by the mass-entertainment industry.
Nevertheless some very popular acts continue to patronize the Sun Plaza. Hello! Project artists such as Goto Maki and Matsuura Aya have performed at the Sun Plaza, and a recent concert by W & Berryz Koubou was also held there. Nochiura Natsumi's inaugural concert took place there also.