Hotel Okura Tokyo

The Hotel Okura Tokyo is was one of the world’s most iconic Mid-Century Modern relics, a piece of art frozen in time. Just walking into the Hotel Okura, you walk back in time to the Cold War era. There’s an old-world clock on the wall with the city Leningrad still there. Every detail of this hotel is accounted for in its design and lighting. It was even an inspiration for a James Bond location.

Walking into the lobby, you cannot help but notice all the black cameras lining the perimeter of the building. Next to the U.S. Embassy and located in the political district, the Okura has played host to every President of the United States since Nixon and countless other heads of state.

What made the Okura so fascinating is the fact that it not only stood as a Mid-Century relic, walking around this hotel is the closest thing you can feel to traveling back in time to another era, a simpler era. If you want to know what it feels like to step into a Stanley Kubrick film, just stay here.

The staff are all polished, dressed in suits, and it’s not uncommon to find yourself dining next to a diplomat or CIA agent.

It was heartbreaking when the government tore down the hotel in order to build a better one, I think going along with Tokyo’s Olympic planning. But the total disregard for such a masterpiece was not unnoticed.