Located on the moat across from the Imperial Palace in Tokyo is 1-1-1 Marunouchi. This prestigious address has been home to several hotels in modern history beginning with the Hotel Teito (Imperial Capital Hotel). The original building was constructed in December 1937 and served as the home of the Forestry Office of the Imperial Household Agency.
After WWII the facility continued to serve as a hotel under the Trade Authority Office of the Japanese Government for the exclusive use of buying agents from around the world. In 1959 the building was sold to the private sector and in 1961 opened as the luxurious Palace Hotel.
Now in what could be described as part of the grand Shinto tradition of renewal and rebirth, the Palace Hotel was demolished in 2009 and now being rebuilt from the ground up as the new Palace Hotel Tokyo. Unlike Ise Grand Shrine which is rebuilt and transfered from one generation to the next every 20 years, it has been more than 50 years since the sacred ground of 1-1-1 Marunouchi has seen such a transformation.
Join me over the coming year each month as I follow the construction of the new Palace Hotel Tokyo in my dedicated section titled:
FRONT DESK: The Building of a Hotel
As part of this journey I will look even further back in history to see what took place at 1-1-1 Marunouchi during the Edo Period (1603-1868), survey the neighborhood and what Frank Lloyd Wright accomplished just down the street with the Imperial Hotel, and interview previous guests of the Palace Hotel to gain insight into why so many people around the world have a special place in their heart for this location. As a student of art, architecture and design I will also speak with the key decision makers behind this ambitious project from the architects to the contractors to the interior designers.
I plan to continue the story all the way up to its grand re-opening which is scheduled for Spring 2012. Please join me - no reservations required. If you have a special story to share about the Palace Hotel Tokyo, let me know.
Footnote: The next rebuilding of Ise Shrine is due in 2013!