Jan 092018

January 2018

Most large, high-end, hotels place a Japanese restaurant near some form of Japanese Garden, the Hotel New Otani goes one step further.

The Hotel New Otani GardenIn the middle of Downtown Tokyo, this stunning garden is free to anyone that desires to walk around.

The garden was first part of the estate of samurai lord Kato Kiyomasa over 400 years ago.  Eventually, the land was turned over to the Ii family, dominant in the Shogunate Government of the Edo period.

Hotel New Otani Tokyo GardenLater, in the Meiji period, the land became the property of the Fushiminomiya family, then a branch of the imperial house. After the Second World War, the property was sold to Yonetaro Otani, the founder of Hotel New Otani, who established his private residence on the property and renovated the garden into what it is today.

Koi at the Hotel New Otani Tokyo GardenThe Hotel New Otani opened on September 1st, 1964 to coincide with the Tokyo Olympics. Its construction was requested by the Japanese government in order to fill a perceived shortage of hotel space for foreign visitors to the Olympics. Yonetaro Otani, a former sumo wrestler who founded and ran a small steel company, agreed to build a hotel on the site keeping the original garden.

Garden at the Hotel New Otani, TokyoThe Garden has undergone some changes when an addition to the hotel and an office building were built on the site, but it is still worth a stop in the busy hustle of downtown Japan

Japanese GardenThe hotel was a filming location for the 1967 James Bond film You Only Live Twice, where it appeared as the headquarters of Osato Chemicals, the Japanese front for SPECTRE.

Japanese Garden TokyoThe New Otani also hosted the world leaders who attended the funeral of Emperor Hirohito in 1989 and those who attended the enthronement of Emperor Akihito in 1990.  The hotel has seen the likes of many a foreign dignitary.

dsc_3434 *Japanese Bridge in a Japanese Garden *Hotel New Otani Garden*Hotel New Otani Garden Fence