Brand story

Serving as Japan’s Private Guest House

Created by Eiichi Shibusawa (later the first chairman of the Imperial Hotel) and Kihachiro Okura at the order of Foreign Minister Kaoru Inoue, the Imperial Hotel was established in Tokyo’s Hibiya area in 1890 to serve as Japan’s guest house for visitors from abroad. 
From then on, it came to serve as a gathering place offering a heartfelt welcome to guests of every era.

And moving into the future, the Imperial Hotel continues pursuing the “omotenashi” spirit of Japanese hospitality passed down over the years and working to ensure guest satisfaction.

Frank Lloyd Wright and the Imperial Hotel

The Imperial Hotel’s second main building (known as the Wright Building) was completed in 1923. This was the first hotel designed and built in Japan by Frank Lloyd Wright, one of the most famous architects of the 20th century.

Despite opening on the day that the Great Kanto Earthquake occurred, this hotel went on to serve not only as an accommodation facility but also as a center for cultural exchange between east and west, connecting countries and people during Japan’s Taisho and Showa periods (from 1923 to 1967). It even began the glamorous culture of hotels hosting social events.

Combining the unique beauty of the Wright Building’s architecture with all the radiance and charm contained within the hotel itself, this hotel astonished and impressed countless people as “the Jewel of the Orient” until closing in 1967.
The Wright legacy still remains a valuable aspect of the hotel today.

The Origin Story of “Hotel Wedding” Style

Wedding style options have grown increasingly diverse—such as overseas weddings or house weddings—but even now, many people choose the "hotel wedding" style in which both the ceremony and reception are held at a single hotel.

Shrine, were destroyed in the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923. Consequently, the Imperial Hotel established a shrine on its premises and offered weddings there combining both the ceremony and reception. Additionally, the prototype for the all-inclusive "hotel wedding" style—offering wedding attire rental, makeup, hairstyling and photography, etc.—was devised based on ideas from the hotel managers at the time, eventually becoming the widespread practice that is common today.

Famous Guests at the Imperial Hotel

Famous guests from around the world have stayed at the Imperial Hotel.

In February 1954, Hollywood star Marilyn Monroe and Major League baseball player Joe DiMaggio stayed at the Imperial Hotel during their honeymoon. People still talk about Monroe answering “Chanel No. 5” after being asked, “What do you wear to bed?” at a press conference during her stay.

Opera star of the 1920s to the post-war period, Yoshie Fujiwara, also famously spent time at the hotel during his later years. An opera titled The Imperial Opera was debuted by the Fujiwara Opera at the Imperial Hotel, Tokyo in 2006. Additionally, a long list of historical figures such as American comedy king Charlie Chaplin and Helen Keller have stayed at the hotel.