"...[Mita] is on a hill overlooking the great bay of Tokyo with good air and a fine view," Yukichi Fukuzawa reminisces in this quote from his autobiography. It is well known that he enjoyed the vistas from this high ground. It was 1871 when Keio University moved from its home in Shiba Shinsenza to its present location at Mita in the former residence of the Shimabara clan. For more than fifty years, the Hill of Mita was the solitary home of Keio, from Yochisha Elementary School to its university faculties.
Fukuzawa’s commentary lives on in school songs like Oka no Ue (Up on the Hill), with lyrics like "The sky is blue on the hill" and "Open the windows for a glimpse of the sea." In fact, you could still see the ocean around Shinagawa from Mita Campus until the mid-1970s. In 1958, Tokyo Tower was also clearly visible from campus, rising spectacularly over downtown Tokyo as the tallest building in Japan.
In the February 1976 issue of Mita-hyoron, a second-year student from the Faculty of Letters wrote, "You can see Tokyo Tower as you leave Tamachi Station and walk down the stairs into Mita." Students must have gazed up at Tokyo Tower on their way to school from Tamachi Station at a time when there were no surrounding high-rises. Today, Tokyo Tower can be found outside the East Gate of Mita Campus, due north on Mita Dori toward Akabanebashi. But when Tokyo Tower first opened, this was the main entrance to Keio, opening onto the grand avenue with the tower standing proudly in the background.