Tokyo’s iconic hotel is shaken but not stirred
The 60s-era Okura Hotel has a rebuilt interior that even superspy James Bond would love
The new-look Okura Hotel still has the iconic lanterns in the lobby.
Photo: AFP / Karyn Nishimura
It has iconic status in Tokyo with a cast-list of the rich and the powerful.
The Okura Hotel was known as a 1960s-era modernist masterpiece, hosting United States presidents, British royalty and even fictional superspy James Bond.
Last week, it offered a peek into its rebuilt interior as it prepares for its grand re-opening. In 2015, the beloved hotel was torn down despite a passionate campaign to preserve it and is poised to open again later this month after an extensive renovation for the 2020 Olympics.
Located in central Tokyo just across from the US embassy, the hotel’s guest list included American leaders Richard Nixon and Barack Obama, as well as Britain’s Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana.
It was also the obvious choice of lodgings for 007 while in Japan as the hotel makes an appearance in Ian Fleming’s novel You Only Live Twice.
So what can visitors expect this time around? The lobby oozes nostalgia with 60s-style furniture and the famous hotel lanterns.
But the rest has been revamped in a sober but modern fashion dominated by wood, aiming at foreigners who lap up the minimalist Japanese style.
The new Okura Hotel is housed in two towers and will consist of 508 luxury rooms, banquet halls, conference rooms, shops, restaurants, luxury bars, as well as a spa and fitness club. It will also host the Okura Art Museum, which was founded in 1917.
– reporting by AFP