Wright Of Passage

Toast To A Bygone Era At The Old Imperial Bar
The Original

There's only one bar in Tokyo in which to enjoy the Mount Fuji cocktail. Step into the Imperial Hotel, Tokyo and make your way to the Old Imperial Bar to savor the hotel’s signature drink precisely as it was first served when it was created in 1924. Originally concocted for a welcome reception for cruise ship passengers on a stop-over at the hotel as part of a round-the-world tour, dry gin is mixed with pineapple and lemon juices, then frothy egg whites and fresh cream are layered on top to represent Mount Fuji's iconic snow caps. The creation is punctuated with a maraschino cherry meant to symbolize the rising sun.

The Mount Fuji, which the hotel touts as their first original cocktail, is also a tribute to American architect and visionary Frank Lloyd Wright, who designed the second interpretation of the Imperial Hotel, Tokyo in 1923.

Relics from the original Frank Lloyd Wright-designed structure are still a draw at the Old Imperial Bar.
The façade of Wright's 1923 hotel entrance and lobby have been preserved at the Meiji-mura museum since the structure was razed in 1967.
The Mount Fuji cocktail, made with dry gin, pineapple and lemon juices, was first served at the hotel in 1924.
The bar's original Art Deco floor lamps create a dimly lit ambiance that recalls a bygone era.
Walk Through The Past

Wright's design replaced the hotel's previous wooden structure, which dated back to 1890. His fascination with Japan made a strong impression on his architectural aesthetic. One such example? The original sloping roof, which meets in a plateau at the top to mimic the look of the country's highest peak.

Though his masterful redesign was razed in 1967 to be replaced with a more modern edifice, aesthetic flourishes remain inside the Old Imperial Bar, which was opened in 1970, where relics from the architect's vision are on display. Geometric patterns of terracotta and igneous Oya stone made from lava and ash come together in a mural on the back wall; the bar's distinctive Art Deco floor lamps create a dimly lit ambiance that recalls a bygone era.

A stay at the Imperial Hotel, Tokyo in hallowed architectural ground, sets the stage for a day trip: a four-and-a-half hour chauffeured drive in one of the hotel’s limousines to the Meiji-mura museum, near Nagoya, where guests can literally walk through the hotel's past. At the open-air museum, portions of Wright's Imperial gem are preserved: the grand entrance and lobby, along with the reflecting pool, have been saved and reconstructed, making it clear why the Imperial Hotel became known throughout the world as the Jewel of the Orient.

To learn more about the Imperial Hotel, Tokyo the Old Imperial Bar, or to book the Meiji-mura museum excursion, please contact the concierge upon making a reservation.