A Look into the History of Hotel New Otani Tokyo

A legendary hotel awaits you in the center of Tokyo

Hotel New Otani is located in the heart of Tokyo and has traditionally been regarded as one of the city’s three grand hotels along with the Imperial Hotel and Hotel Okura. A unique mix between hotel, restaurants, and shops make it a popular place among travelers and locals. Today, let us dive into the history of this remarkable institution.

Yonetaro Otani in front of the New Otani

How it all began

The founding of Hotel New Otani Tokyo dates back to the early 1960s when Yonetaro Otani got approached to build a hotel on his property in central Tokyo. Shortly before, Tokyo was selected as the host of the Tokyo Summer Olympics in 1964 and the government was faced with the enormous task to accommodate an estimated 30,000 international visitors. Fearing a lack of hotel capacity they approached businessmen and landowners to tackle this challenge.

Envisioning the finest hotel that the Orient has to offer, the former sumo wrestler and self-made businessman in the steel industry Yonetaro Otani agreed to contribute his part to the national vision. With merely two years left the New Otani Tokyo was built in a record time of 17 months, using the newest building techniques and technologies at the time. The then 1,085-room hotel opened on 1 September 1964, just in time for the Olympics that started in the upcoming month. At the time of opening the New Otani was the tallest building in Japan until the Kasumigaseki Building claimed the title four years later in 1968.

Modern technology meets traditional art & design

While using state-of-the-art technology on the inside and outside, Otani did not fail to keep the spark of Japanese tradition and culture alive. Implementing traditional Japanese elements like the fan motif in the carpeting or images of cranes on the walls as well as the newest technology at that time, the New Otani was a flagship of the fusion between Japanese traditional elements and new technology that is continuously being updated till today.

Traces of Japan’s past

The building site is of historical relevance in the district of Kioi as it used to be the family residence of the Fushimi-no-miya clan, a branch of the Imperial family, and earlier the home to several feudal lords. Living memories of this time are the 400-year-old garden and a stone wall that dates back to the Edo era. Yonetaro Otani wanted to preserve and integrate the natural beauty and history while still executing his vision of a modern hotel. The result was a stunning spectacular cutting-edge building integrated into a 40,000 square meter Japanese garden.


A view of Mt. Fuji from the heart of Tokyo

Another unique feature at the time was the lounge on the highest floor with a 360-degree panoramic view that quickly became an iconic piece in Tokyo. The Blue Sky Lounge (now restaurant “View & Dining The Sky) affords views of the Shinjuku skyscrapers and Mt. Fuji if weather conditions permit.

The Sky restaurant today...
... and in the 60s.

Hotel New Otani Tokyo: Following the newest trends in hospitality and international standards

Following the success of the original building (nowadays referred to as “The Main”), the 40-storey “Garden Tower” was added in 1974, and a third building called the “Garden Court” reaching 30 stories opened in 1991. “The Main” underwent an extensive renewal in 2007 to upgrade the interior and exterior to the newest standards. Nowadays the New Otani offers 1,479 rooms and can host up to 2,768 guests. Additionally, visitors can choose between 37 restaurants, numerous shops, and other facilities.

Popular among national leaders & VIPs

The New Otani has been a popular convention center on an international scale. It has hosted several G7 summits and welcomed international guests and VIPs. Among them are world leaders such as Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao or UK Prime Minister Theresa May.

Having successfully claimed its spot in Tokyo it is regarded as one Tokyo’s time-honored and esteemed hotels. Offering a high level of service and located in the center of Tokyo with convenient access to various key areas within the city, it is the ideal accommodation for business and leisure travelers alike. Its multilingual staff will
make you feel at home like nowhere else and make your stay in Tokyo unforgettable.

Hotel New Otani Tokyo is conveniently located in the heart of Tokyo. Contact GOYOH to reserve your room with a stunning view over its mesmerizing garden.

For more information on Hotel New Otani Tokyo please refer to their website.

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