Hotel New Grand, Yokohama, c. 1940-1950.
Fuji-View Hotel, Hakone, c. 1950.
The Fuji New Grand Hotel opened on May 22, 1936, on the shore of Lake Yamanaka. With its opening, international tourism arrived in the Fuji Five Lakes district.
The hotel was 3 stories, constructed in a mock Tudor/Swiss chalet style of wood and ferro-concrete. The Fuji New Grand was owned and operated by the New Grand Hotel of Yokohama, and had 40 guest rooms with an additional 35 cottages scattered nearby as the adjunct “Fuji New Grand Lodge”.
The Fuji New Grand Hotel had a very brief existence as a resort hotel before it was “called to duty” during the Pacific War when the grounds were leased to the Yokosuka Naval Corps. Following Japan’s surrender in September 1945, ending World War II, the premises were requisitioned by the Allied Occupation. The Fuji New Grand reopened in December 1945 for use as a “rest and recreation” retreat for Allied officers and contract Occupation civilians (and what few tourists there were who were allowed to enter the country during the Occupation) and, during the Korean War, as an R&R facility for select U.S. military enlisted personnel.
Returned to Japanese civilian ownership and operation in 1952, the Fuji New Grand never quite returned to its pre-war glory or potential. The hotel was sold in 1960 and, in 1975, was permanently closed – ostensibly because its timber structures had become a fire hazard.