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Rumors surrounding the possible reconstruction of Tokyo’s iconic Hotel Okura were made official this week, and citizens of Tokyo as well as lovers of modern Japanese architecture couldn’t be more displeased with the announcement. While Tokyo’s changing skyline is what makes it so special, demolitions like this threaten its rich architectural history. So as we all await the faith of this enchanting hotel, globetrotting imprint Monocle explores its beautifully-designed interior.
Located in Toranomon on what had been a feudal estate, visitors to the hotel can still walk into the main building and drink in the atmosphere of 1960s Tokyo that features traditional colors, shapes and crafts from Japan. Greeted by kimono-draped lobby attendants, Hotel Okura offers everything from a tea ceremony room and a “Go” salon for players of Japan’s version of chess, to a perfectly elegant dining room and a bar where they’ve been making highballs since they were fashionable the first time around. Although the reconstruction seems inevitable as it is expected to be a main attraction for the 2020 Olympics, there is an online petition that has been put together to help save this cultural masterpiece.