Renovated Okura Tokyo unveiled to the press ahead of public opening
Japan Times -- Sep 07
Renowned for melding East and West, old and new with its architecture and design, The Okura Tokyo opened its doors to the press for the first time Friday after three years of renovations, ahead of its public opening on Sept. 12.

“We hope that we can become a hotel that will be cherished by people from all over the world, as a revamped The Okura Tokyo that still carries on the legacy of traditional beauty and the Japanese spirit,” said general manager Shinji Umehara in a statement.

The cost of the renovation is estimated at a total of ¥110 billion.

The hotel, located in Minato Ward, chose to keep much of the design that had cemented its place among examples of modernist Japanese architecture. It was sometimes likened to a museum for the meticulous artistry and handicrafts that adorned its interiors. It also retained much of the design of its famous lobby, which was so popular with fans that a petition was launched in an effort to keep it intact.

“I was slightly worried about how the lobby would look, but upon seeing it I was relieved to find that it was exactly as it had been before,” said a staff member of the hotel who asked not to be named.

The hotel, which once hosted famed guests such as Princess Diana and Harrison Ford, was conscious of carrying on its legacy as a mainstay of Japan’s cultural scene, while bringing in new touches.

ホテルオークラ東京が4年越しのリニューアルで生まれ変わりました。 今月12日に開業する「The Okura Tokyo」は、41階建ての高層タワーと17階建ての中層棟の2つの建物に生まれ変わりました。約500の客室の他にレストランやジムもあり、高層タワーの8階から25階は企業のオフィスが入ります。和のデザインの美しさから「日本モダニズム建築の最高傑作」とされた旧本館のメインロビーは高層タワーのロビーに再現されました。採光を変えて落ち着いた雰囲気にするなど、より洗練された空間になったということです。
News sources: Japan Times, ANNnewsCH
Jan 15
Spent mixed oxide fuel has been removed from a reactor at a nuclear power plant in western Japan in the first such operation in Japan, the plant operator said Tuesday. (Japan Today)
Jan 15
A statue of a Japanese god of fortune has been recovered from the sea off the northeastern city of Kesennuma. It was swept away by the 2011 tsunami. (NHK)
Jan 14
Chiba Prefectural Police have arrested a 36-year-old man over the alleged assault of a woman in Chiba City with a concrete block, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Jan. 12). (tokyoreporter.com)
Jan 13
Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested a 28-year-old woman over the alleged swindle of an elderly woman in Kanagawa Prefecture, reports Fuji News Network (Jan. 10). (tokyoreporter.com)
Jan 10
A 62-year-old teacher and operator of a cram school in Nara City has been arrested for using dog collars to restrain one of his students, a young girl in her teens, last November. (Japan Today)
Jan 07
The official posters are out for this year's Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. (Japan Today)
Jan 06
A female flight attendant for All Nippon Airways (ANA) caused delays in the departures of four domestic flights from Fukuoka Airport after she was found to be over the legal alcohol limit before boarding. (Japan Today)
Jan 05
The auction bell at Tokyo's wholesale food market in Toyosu rang for the first time this year on Sunday. A wholesalers' representative said he hopes for a prosperous year with many blue fin tuna up for auction. (NHK)
Jan 03
Japanese Emperor Naruhito said he is praying for the happiness of people in Japan and the world in his first New Year greetings of the Reiwa era. (NHK)