Akasaka Prince Hotel, Tokyo, c. 1960.



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Akasaka Prince Hotel, c. 1960.

Exterior of the Akasaka Prince Hotel, c. 1960.

“The original hotel (colloquially referred to as ‘The Classic House at Akasaka Prince’), opened in 1955, was located in the former Kitashirakawa Palace, built in 1930 as the residence of Yi Un, the last crown prince of Korea*. Designed by Kozo Kitamura, the then-head of the Ministry of the Imperial Household Imperial Works Bureau Engineering Department, it would become surrounded by high-rise buildings that sprang up in huge numbers during the rapid redevelopment in the years following World War II.

“Because of its proximity to Nagatachō Station and the National Diet buildings, it was often used by Japanese politicians for meetings and press conferences. The hotel came to be loved as a symbol of the former face of the Kioicho neighborhood, a symbol still loved by residents today.

“The building operated as the Akasaka Prince Hotel from 1955, and was used and loved by the many guests of its private rooms, banquet hall, restaurant and bar over its 56 years of service. In 1983, a newer tower building designed by Kenzo Tange was completed in 1982 and it took the name ‘Akasaka Prince Hotel’, with the former building renamed the Grand Prince Hotel Akasaka It continued to operate under that name until the hotel complex was closed in 2011. The ‘Classic House’ building was designated as a Tokyo Tangible Cultural Property in 2011. In 2016, it reopened as the ‘Akasaka Prince Classic House,’ a wedding venue.”

Press release, Seibu Holdings, Inc., June 2015

Akasaka Prince Hotel, c. 1960.

Swimming pool on the premises of the Akasaka Prince Hotel, c. 1960.

“On the quieter side and surrounded by trees is the small and elegant Akasaka Prince Hotel. The Akasaka Prince Hotel is only 10 minutes by car from the Tokyo Air Terminal and 30 minutes from Tokyo International Airport (Haneda). This hotel is located on a hill overlooking the famous Akasaka district …”

Economic World, 1982

Akasaka Prince Hotel, c. 1980.

Akasaka Prince Hotel, c. 1980.

* Lieutenant General Prince Imperial Yeong, the Yi Un, Crown Prince Uimin (also Euimin), also known as Yi Un, Yi Eun, Lee Eun, and Un Yi (20 October 1897 – 1 May 1970), was the 28th Head of the Korean Imperial House, an Imperial Japanese Army general and the last crown prince of Korea. His son, also named Yi Un, was born in Kitashirakawa Palace in 1931 and, coincidentally, passed away in the same premises in 2005.

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