Hotel Okura Tokyo first opened its doors to the public on May 20, 1962, as the country's era of rapid growth and modernization finally hit its stride.

Alongside the bullet train and other large-scale infrastructure projects that were completed at the time, the hotel came to embody the growing ascendency of Japan, as the world looked to Tokyo for the '64 Olympics.

As far as hotels went, there was nothing in Tokyo like the Okura when it was built. Indeed, there's nothing like it now. Other luxury hotels did exist in the early '60s, including the Imperial Hotel and the Hotel New Otani Tokyo, but the Okura was in a class of its own, thanks to the work of a design team led by architect Yoshiro Taniguchi.