A Yen for the Past: Farewell to Tokyo’s Hotel Okura

Yoshiro Taniguchi, who led the group of architects and designers collaborating on Tokyo’s Hotel Okura, also designed the lobby specifically. Its elevator doors are surfaced with silk. Photography by Jimmy Cohen.

A bamboo grove outside the lobby casts shadows through paper window screens by Seido Iwata. Photography by Jimmy Cohen.

Pine clads structural columns. Photography by Jimmy Cohen.

Sentaro Iwaki designed the side garden to remain green year-round. Photography by Jimmy Cohen.

The lobby’s pendant fixtures, mimicking the shape of the beads found in ancient Japanese tombs, have become a symbol of the hotel. Photography by Jimmy Cohen.

A patchwork wall covering by Saburo Mizoguchi and Kenichi Shigeoka incorporates silk brocades and damasks dating as far back as the 13th century. Photography by Jimmy Cohen.

Giving the exterior horizontal forms, recalling Kanazawa Castle, was a suggestion from Hideo Kosaka, director of architecture at Japan’s postal service. Photography by Jimmy Cohen.

Doors with metal pulls belong to the largest banquet hall, also by Kosaka. Photography by Jimmy Cohen.

Leaded-glass panels adorn Taniguchi’s Orchid Bar. Photography by Jimmy Cohen.

Its hammered copper sconces. Photography by Jimmy Cohen.

A cedar screen in a hemp-leaf pattern. Photography by Jimmy Cohen.

Shells lining a screen in the Orchid Room restaurant. Photography by Jimmy Cohen.

The front window grille. Photography by Jimmy Cohen.

On a wall in the lobby, the original world clock displays the time in cities including Leningrad. Photography by Jimmy Cohen.

Taniguchi placed the cloakroom next to a newsstand. Photography by Jimmy Cohen.

In Yozo Shibata’s basement arcade, a shop offers kimonos. Photography by Jimmy Cohen.

ONLINE EXCLUSIVE. Photography by Jimmy Cohen.

ONLINE EXCLUSIVE. Photography by Jimmy Cohen.

ONLINE EXCLUSIVE. Photography by Jimmy Cohen.

ONLINE EXCLUSIVE. Photography by Jimmy Cohen.

ONLINE EXCLUSIVE. Photography by Jimmy Cohen.

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