Happy VJ Day… that’s Vaccine for Jimmy Day.
Not to be confused with VJ Day, Victory in Japan Day.
So to mark these momentous dates I’m highlighting something Japanese again, in this year of the Olympics.
Rings of gold
When we’ll be hoping there will be many victories, and not just for us but for the hosts.
Because the Games always light up when the home country succeeds.
And I’m ready, steady, go.
Vaccinated and available to travel, either to compete (long-distance running) or to report.
It’s Cherry Blossom season too and my old pal Wendy Wu will be giving me a briefing this week on what she has planned.
While remember it’s Olympic year, delayed from 2020, in the Land of the Rising Sun too.
As you all know I only stay in the leading hotels in the world.
And they obviously only deal with the leading Travel writers in the world too.
So it’s no surprise to find the Okura Tokyo giving me a blind invite out to see them!
There is an Olympic link to this one too.
Yoshiro Taniguchi’s team built the original modernist Okura in 1962 ahead of the first Tokyo Olympics two years later.
Yo, yo Yoshiro
It’s timely then that we are celebrating a reincarnation of the hotel for the coming Olympics.
And it still has those Taginuchi touches from Yoshiro’s son, also Yoshiro.
We are, of course, passing over the ill-fated couple of years when the main building, with its beloved lobby, was pulled down.
And, as can happen, an inferior replacement was erected.
Not so the Okura Hotel of today which boasts two distinctly branded wings.
There’s the restrained and elegant the Okura Heritage and the Okura Prestige, a modern, urban hotel. And all for £250 per night.
A work of art
The essence of the original Okura has still been preserved.
Either relocated from the original building, replicated, or adorned through its artworks and carpeting.
Blink and you might imagine that it was the original lobby with its hexagonal pendant lamps and hemp leaf motif screens of hinoki wood.