The Imperial Hotel is THE grande dame of the hospitality scene in Tokyo. It was built in the Meiji Era – the first Western-style hotel in Japan, built to cater to European visitors. It opened in 1890 but unfortunately, burnt down in a fire in 1922.
The second Imperial Hotel was the iconic one. It was designed and built by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1923 in an exuberant Mayan style. It played host to royalty, heads of state, celebrities and writers, and was a major destination in its own right. It famously withstood the Great Kanto Earthquake the year it was opened.
Unfortunately, as a result of development pressure, the hotel was demolished in 1967, and a third Imperial Hotel – a high-rise tower – was built, 17 years later, in 1985. Thankfully, the original lobby and entrance hall of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hotel was preserved and now stands in the Meiji Mura Museum in Inuyama.
This gallery pays tribute to both Frank Lloyd Wright’s Imperial Hotel, as well as today’s high-rise hotel.