Famed Tokyo hotel to be torn down this summer

The Okura has hosted US presidents, bureaucrats, movie stars, even James Bond; the main wing will be demolished and a US$1b, 31/2-year construction project will begin


IF DON Draper were going to drink Old Fashioneds in Tokyo, he would definitely drink them in the Orchid Bar of the Hotel Okura. Wood panelled with lighting as dim as midnight, and smoked-glass ashtrays lined up along the counter, the bar looks like something straight from the set of Mad Men. To get to the bar, he'd have to walk through the defiantly retro lobby, with its olive green carpet and modernist chairs, its geometric leaf pattern latticework and its stylish "cut gem" pendant lamps.

But the bar, and the whole main wing of the hotel, renowned among design buffs as the perfect combination of Japanese aesthetics and modernist decor, will be bulldozed this summer, the latest victim of...

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