The main building of the Hotel Okura will be closing at the end of summer. Many are coming to sit in the lobby under the signature lantern lamps. The visitors are a mix of locals and non-Japanese, young and old. It will be sad to say sayonara to this beautiful lobby as we know it.
I wanted to bid farewell to the hotel with a taste of the Okura. The lemon pie at the Terrace restaurant is the original recipe and has not changed in 50 years. It is sweet and tart and has an old school meringue on top. The custard is rich with eggs and the lemon flavor is mild. It is the lemon pies I grew up with, not the fancy tarte au citron available at French patisseries throughout the city. It tastes old and what better way to say adieu than with a nod to the past?
A poster of the Lemon Pie at the hotel. It is one of their signature items.
One of the staff escorted me to the Terrace Restaurant and I asked her about the new hotel and if the lobby would be coming back. She did say that plans are to save some of the pieces, such as the lantern lamps, chairs, and tables. If it makes sense to bring these back, then we may be seeing some of these again. The South Wing will remain open during reconstruction of the main building.
I’ve stayed in the Hotel Okura years ago for about a week. I never made it to the Terrace Restaurant, and so exploring the hotel was another treat. I was here for business and all I could enjoy of the hotel was my bed and bath.
There is a lovely garden that the Terrace overlooks. Sitting next to me was a group of older Japanese ladies who were very sad about the renovation project. One even walked over to the small pond to bid farewell to the fish. We are all treasuring these last few days.
Minato-ku, Toranomon 2-10-4