If you look, you'll find quiet, verdant pockets of greenery and flowers
during every season of the year somewhere in the charmingly unstudied
park across the street. Hibiya Park is the very first western style
public park in Tokyo, and home to the jolly Tokyo Ondo,
the o-bon dance that was introduced to the public there in
the Meiji Era and now performed almost nationwide during
the o-bon all souls' festival in August. Everyone is welcome to
participate, and yukata summer kimono are de rigueur.
Every summer Hibiya Park hosts a series of festivals and traditional
events, from o-bon dances to Japanese jack 'o lantern fairs to live
goldfish stalls, followed in the fall by displays of award-winning and
often gigantic chrysanthemums. The unpretentious park is also home to
secluded ponds surrounded by brilliantly hued Japanese maple trees in
autumn and rows of pale pink cherry trees in the spring. It's an ideal
place to get to know some of your more affable Japanese hosts while
they are enjoying their packed lunchbox meals on their lunch hour on
one of the many park benches.
Stroll on and discover a number of picturesque old wooden cafes that
still offer tea and coffee both indoors and out. You are also likely to
come upon pretty, tranquil ponds inhabited by all kinds of turtles.
Nearby are the many floors of elegant new shops and terrace
restaurants in the fashionable Tokyo Midtown Hibiya complex down
the street from The Imperial, and of course the sleek shops lining
the streets along Tokyo's fabled Ginza. Look for glimpses of
our legendary but entirely unterrifying Godzilla, who
despite his cinemagraphic, fiery halitosis remains widely loved by
the citizens of Tokyo. Hibiya offers newcomers a wonderful
introduction to the capital's many delights and changing faces.
The dramatic, surreal Frank Lloyd Wright Imperial Hotel opened
its doors in September of 1923, in the very center of the trendy
Hibiya district. Guests arriving at our porte cochere in those days would
be greeted by expansive views of green in the park across the street,
then walk up a short flight of steps to a striking central lobby area
embellished with Wright's trademark art-deco, spaceship-like
ornamentation, embedded in everything from the lighting panels to
the volcanic tuff to the intricate terra cotta tiling.
The "Imperial Times - Once and Future Legacies" exhibition spotlighting
designs and relics from that era is presently underway in
our Main Lobby through March 31st, 2019.